W on Japan’s Kafkaesque and faulty re-entry procedures (even after October revisions to “open borders to Re-entry Visa foreign residents”): More elaborate racist barriers now.

Source: debito.org

This is an eyewitness account (redacted to remove personal identifiers) of a Permanent Resident of Japan, married to a Japanese for decades, who as a European went through re-entry procedures that apply to foreigners only (regardless of visa status) and not Japanese. The Japanese Government claims they have made things easier for Non-Japanese re-entrants since October 1, but Debito.org Reader W would beg to differ below. This Kafkaesque ordeal will no doubt resonate with those who are used to Japanese bureaucracy, and doubly so when they see how racism (the belief that having a Japanese passport somehow makes you less contagious) is as usual part of the mix.

W: I would like to update you about PCR Covid tests in Europe. The lab in Europe sent by email secured Certificate of negative PCR test the same day evening. All countries that require PCR before arrival accept such certificates. But not Japan. Japan requires the old way: Stamps, doctor`s name and signature. On their paper that you must pick up in advance at their embassy.

I asked in the lab what I should do, and I was told that upon negative result I have to come back to them next day to bring the printed certificate that they sent me, passport and Japanese “Certificate of Testing for COVID-19” which they will fill in, stamp, and sign. Lucky me, they opened a new lab 2 weeks ago very close to where I stay in Europe. If not for this, then I would have to travel over 1 hour to be tested and 1 hour again the next day to bring the paper to stamp it. Now imagine those who are in countries that don`t have labs close by. It`s ridiculous and discriminatory. Why? Because, again, my Japanese …continue reading