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Foreign residents were left scratching their heads and wondering whether the country was expanding its most rigorous travel bans after the government announced fresh travel restrictions on seven countries late Wednesday.

The travel curbs affecting Thailand and six other countries were revised just a day after Japan decided to ban entry of all foreign nationals from several countries in South Asia, even if they have a valid residency status — hence the confusion. Magdalena Osumi attempted to make sense of it all.

Okinawa Vice Gov. Kiichiro Jahana holds a news conference in Naha on Wednesday. | KYODO
Okinawa Vice Gov. Kiichiro Jahana holds a news conference in Naha on Wednesday. | KYODO

Meanwhile, as more countries require proof of vaccination to ease entry at their borders, the government is considering starting to issue certificates to those who get their jabs in Japan, probably from June, Jiji reports.

Moves are also afoot to add Okinawa Prefecture to the COVID-19 state of emergency declaration amid surging infections in the southern island region, a government source said Thursday.

Yesterday’s (and last Thursday’s) new COVID-19 cases nationwide: 5,721 (6,367). By prefecture (100 or over; bold indicates rise over last week): Tokyo 843 (1,010), Hokkaido 681 (712), Aichi 633 (624), Osaka 501 (761), Fukuoka 399 (502), Kanagawa 308 (337), Saitama 228 (289), Hiroshima 212 (212), Hyogo 209 (361), Okinawa 198 (126), Kyoto 127 (156), Okayama 123 (171), Chiba 114 (171), Gifu 108 (127). Source: Japan COVID-19 Coronavirus Tracker

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