The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) decided to take exceptional measures for foreign nationals with Japanese permanent residence status who are unable to return to Japan due to the new coronavirus outbreak. Under the measure, foreign nationals whose re-entry period expired and lost their permanent residence status may be granted permanent residence status without the usual re-application process. This temporary measure, taken in response to the travel restrictions due to the global epidemic, will start from June 29.
Foreign nationals must reside in Japan for 10 years before they can apply for permanent residency. Unlike those with other residency statuses, permanent residents are not limited in their activities in Japan. Permanent residents may obtain re-entry permits that are valid for a maximum five years after they leave Japan. They may reenter Japan without a re-entry permit within one year after leaving Japan. If they do not re-enter Japan within the re-entry period, they lose their permanent residence status. Those who have lost their permanent status must enter Japan on a different visa and re-apply for permanent residency. (Abridged)