Nikkei wrote that Administrative Reform Minister Kono disclosed at an Upper House Budget Committee session on Monday a GOJ plan to study the idea of issuing “vaccine passports” certifying COVID-19 vaccination for those who travel to foreign nations. Kono reportedly said that if the use of such passports becomes necessary worldwide, Japan will need to consider issuing them. The paper wrote that the idea of vaccine passports has been proposed in the EU to allow holders of the certificates to travel freely around the bloc and that Japanese travelers entering the bloc may be required to present such passports if the EU were to introduce the scheme. However, there is concern in the international community that such a requirement could lead to discrimination against those who are not vaccinated. Kono stated that he is not considering introducing such passports for domestic travel.
In a related story, Asahi reported from Beijing on an announcement by the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo that the current strict vias requirements for international travelers, including Japanese nationals, will be eased if visitors present certificates showing they have been inoculated with one of the four authorized Chinese vaccines. As Japan has not approved any of the Chinese products and China has not endorsed the Pfizer vaccine, the daily said most Japanese will continue to have difficulties entering China.