Prioritizing students, Japan increases daily immigration from 5,000 to 7,000

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It’s official, the number of people entering Japan each day will increase from 5,000 per day to 7,000 from March 14.

The news fell on March 3, as part of a series of announcements made by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida during an evening press conference.

The Prime Minister explained that more than 160,000 entry applications had been received since Japan started accepting them again on February 25, 2022.

Referring to students wishing to enter the country as Japan’s “treasure”, Kishida expressed concern for the 150,000 who look forward to studying here, and sympathy for students wishing to enter the country before the start of the new academic year on April 1. .

His announcement specified that the government was considering various measures to prioritize the entry of students. Currently, the daily immigration limit is 5,000, including Japanese returnees, existing foreign residents, and new entries such as students.

“In order to facilitate the smooth entry of students, we are setting up the ‘Enkatsu Ryugaku Nyugaku Skiimu’ (Student Smooth Entry System). This is how students can take advantage of weekdays, when there are fewer business travellers, and receive priority for empty seats,” the Prime Minister said.

Students are estimated to be the largest group of 400,000 people who have received a certificate of eligibility but are awaiting permission to enter the country.

After a follow-up question from JAPAN Forward about how long it would take to respond to everyone who wants to enter the country, Kishida said:

“I understand that between 2020 and 2021, there are 400,000 visa applicants who still have not entered the country. Among them, it is unknown how many still want to enter the country,” he said. , adding: “How long it will take to respond to those who want to come in is hard to say.”

The prime minister, however, stressed that this was ‘just one step’ in easing border restrictions and that the government would take incremental further steps. Factors in how quickly these steps are moving include, he said, the COVID-19 situation at home and abroad, and border measures in other countries.

“As we steadily increase the [number of people] coming and going, we want to create measures so that gradually everyone can enter the country.

The new border measures are in addition to the measures already announced which started from March 1. The key points of these measures are an increase in the number of new entries allowed, a reduction in quarantine charges and the possibility of using public transport (instead of a private car) to get from the airport to the airport. hotel or private residence where you will be staying.

RELATED: COVID-19: New immigration rules open Japan’s closed door

It remains to be seen how quickly the backlog of students approved for entry will be resolved. Davide Rossi, who works at a company called Goes! Goes! Nihon, expressed his lingering concerns to JAPAN Forward, in an interview on March 3. His company is in the business of helping students who want to come to Japan.

He pointed out that from March 1, for the first time in nearly two years, Japanese and foreign residents face a significantly reduced quarantine upon returning home, and would therefore be more likely to travel abroad. .

Rossi said he was concerned that more Japanese travelers would reduce the chances of new entries qualifying for the daily quota.

“In that sense, increasing daily entries to 7,000 per day is not a long-term solution, it’s a temporary solution,” he continued, “We would like to see an increase in that number quickly. ”

The Prime Minister also made announcements regarding the COVID-19 quasi-emergency measures in place ー lifting these measures for 13 prefectures, including Fukushima, Nagasaki, Miyazaki, among others.

Author: Arielle Busetto

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