Japan plans to issue Covid-19 vaccination certificates to citizens traveling abroad this summer, Nikkei Asia reported today. The initiative will begin with a paper version of the certificate and roll out later this year with a smartphone solution supported by the ECU Union’s Digital Covid Certificate, which just launched.
“Other countries do it, so Japan will need to consider it, too,” Taro Kono, the country’s vaccine czar, told the Japanese parliament in late April when announcing the government’s plans for a vaccine verification system. The digital Covid app would make it easier for those vaccinated against COVID-19 to travel internationally by scanning QR codes at airports before boarding flights or when entering the country. alongside vaccine verification, the app also will include results from PCR and antigen tests.
Expats living in Japan who are returning to their home countries are among the anticipated users, additionally to Japanese citizens going abroad for business, study, or leisure.
In a recent Ipsos survey, two-thirds (66%) of respondents across the 28 countries said they expect vaccine passports to be used widely by the top of 2021. In Japan, 74% of adults support vaccine passports for international travel. that’s in line with Germany (73%), us (71%) and France (70%) but represents a smaller majority than in Mexico (86%), Australia (86%), Great Britain (84%), China (83%), and Italy (79%).
Japan has quadrupled its vaccine distribution program over the past week, per a report within the Japan Times, but thanks to early vaccine-supply issues it still lags behind other developed nations in getting vaccinations into arms. Only 9% of Japanese residents are partially vaccinated and three fully vaccinated, supported data from the Brown School of Public Health.
At present, Japan isn’t hospitable to foreign travelers. Proponents of vaccine verification systems say having the ability to verify vaccine status is going to be key to the country’s ability to reopen for leisure and business travel.
In the Ipsos survey, a majority (55%) of respondents across 12 countries said that vaccine passports should be required until the top of 2021 or for subsequent several years. That majority was larger than the worldwide average in China (67%), Japan (63%), the UK (61%), Germany (58%), Australia (58%), Canada (58%), and Italy (57%).
Just before Memorial Day, U.S. Director of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas said that the U.S. was also taking a “very close look” at vaccine passports for international travel. Later that day, the DHS seemed to walk back Mayorkas’ comments, clarifying that there’ll be no “federal mandate” for vaccine passports within us.