The government advised citizens on Wednesday to refrain from all nonessential overseas travel as the coronavirus continues to spread.
The Foreign Ministry raised its travel advisory for the rest of the world to Level 2 on its scale of four, the broadest warning it has ever issued, citing the risk of tightened border controls and lockdowns being imposed in many world cities and a reduction in the number of international flights.
“The aim is to inform people who are planning to travel of the risks and prevent any trouble,” a ministry official said.
The Foreign Ministry has two different types of travel advisories, one for regions that are to be avoided due to political instability or other reasons, and another specifically for infectious diseases.
The latest warning falls under the former, with a Level 3 advisory for infectious diseases having already been issued for parts of China and South Korea, and the whole of Iran, Italy, Spain and many other countries in Europe. The government had already issued a Level 1 warning for worldwide travel, which calls on Japanese citizens to stay alert.