Japan starts accepting ‘vaccine passport’ applications
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Japan has started accepting applications for so-called vaccine passports for people who have been fully inoculated against Covid-19 to travel internationally. According to the Japanese government, Italy, Austria, Turkey, Bulgaria and Poland have agreed to ease Covid-19 quarantine rules for the holders of the Japanese certificates, and South Korea will accept them as one of the documents required to exempt holders from quarantine requirements.
The Japanese government is currently negotiating with other countries to expand the use of its vaccine passports.
The vaccination certificates will be official records issued free of charge by municipalities, showing information about an administered vaccine, the vaccination date, and personal information such as name and passport number.
A successful application requires submitting documents including the application form, passport, and vaccination tickets either in person or via mail. The application form and the certificate currently only have the paper form. However, the Japanese government is on the way to introduce digital application and issuance.
The largest business lobby, the Japan Business Federation, known as Keidanren, has suggested using the certificates for raising event attendance caps and for restaurant discounts in Japan. However, there is concern that such use will increase the burden on local governments that process applications and lead to discrimination against people who have not been vaccinated. Nevertheless, some restaurants and hotels in Japan already offer discounts for people who show their vaccination records.
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