After COVID-19 cases spiked in prefectures with U.S. military facilities early on in the current wave of infections, local pressure on the central government to toughen up testing procedures on Japan-based U.S. military personnel entering Japan grew considerably.

But under the 1960 U.S.-Japan Status of Forces Agreement between the two countries, there is little Japan can do to force American military members and their families to adhere to Japanese laws and government requests. This, in turn, has led to calls by prefectural governors to fundamentally revise the SOFA agreement.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.