Reader Mail

Japan’s wildly inconsistent COVID-19 rules need official explanation

While Japan has been rather efficient (or lucky) in containing the spread of the coronavirus that originated in China last year, there are a couple of points still rather mysterious to me.

Why social distance has to be kept in restaurants and theaters but not in trains or buses? I don’t understand why restaurant owners must be penalized but transportation companies don’t need to take measures like elsewhere in the world.

The second point relates to the ability of the virus to distinguish between a Japanese national and a permanent Japan visa holder. Apparently the virus does not attack the former (who are therefore allowed to return to Japan from abroad) but it does stick to the permanent residents who are therefore blocked from re-entering the country they call home. This is ridiculous and if the reason is about reducing required controls at the points of entry, I humbly remind that there are far more Japanese nationals than permanent residents in this country, and if someone is likely clog the quarantine checkpoints, it is the kokumin (Japanese citizens).

It would be appreciated if any government official could address these questions.

Francesco Formiconi
Osaka

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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