• Kyodo

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Japan is developing a system aimed at keeping track of travelers from overseas as part of efforts to prevent the further spread of the novel coronavirus within its borders, a senior government official said Sunday.

Takuya Hirai, digital transformation minister, said on a TV program that he’d like to make it mandatory for people entering the country.

Hirai said the government wants to complete the development of the monitoring system in time for the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, due to be held next summer.

Without providing details, he said it will function by using GPS.

His comments on Fuji TV’s “The Prime” news program came a day after Japan said it will ban nonresident foreign citizens from entering the country, which has been seeing record daily numbers of coronavirus cases in recent weeks.

The measure, which will take effect from Monday through January, was announced following Japan’s detection of a new and seemingly more contagious variant of the virus.

Among other measures to tighten its borders, Japan will require citizens and foreign residents to quarantine for two weeks, show proof of a negative coronavirus test result within 72 hours of departure for the country and undergo another test upon arrival.

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