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Relaxed travel rules for SOFA personnel bound for Okinawa from Tokyo to be suspended soon

Okinawa Times wrote that a pilot program that began in November to allow USFJ members arriving in Tokyo from overseas to transit to Okinawa via commercial flights without going through the strict quarantine protocols that are required for all arrivals will be suspended soon on account of the emergence of the Omicron variant. Under the arrangement that was adopted following the steady improvement of the infection situation in Japan, SOFA personnel arriving at Haneda Airport who have been fully vaccinated and present negative test results are able to board connecting commercial flights to Okinawa, where they are required to self-quarantine. As the GOJ imposed a ban on new foreign arrivals to prevent the infiltration of the emerging strain earlier this week, it is now set to discontinue the practice soon. However, U.S. military members will still be allowed to enter Japan since they fall under the SOFA and are exempt from Japanese laws. 

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