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Japan’s COVID-19 Vaccination Passport

Japan’s COVID-19 Vaccination Passport

covid-19-vaccination-passport

Consistent with many countries around the world, Japan has announced its intention to utilise some form of digital vaccination passport in an effort to re-open its international borders and facilitate ease of travel. Multiple digital platforms are currently under development around the world, variously referred to as a ‘COVID-19 Vaccination/Vaccine Passport’, a ‘Green Passport’, a ‘COVID-19 Vaccination/Vaccine Certificate’, a ‘Digital Passport’ and variations of these. On this page you will find the following information:

1 / Latest News & Updates

2 / Which Digital Passport Will Japan Use?

3 / How it Works?

4 / Japan’s Digital Passport – FAQs

5 / Vaccination Passport Timeline

The information continues to be updated. As more information is available, we will update this page.

1 / LATEST NEWS & UPDATES     


hospital-health

Japan continues to be impacted COVID-19 with international travel severely restricted at this time. For information about what’s happening in Japan – including the latest numbers and the continued roll-out of Japan’s COVID-19 vaccination program, see our ‘Visit Japan: Clean, Green & Healthy’ page. In terms of the roll-out of a digital vaccination passport in Japan, here’s the latest:

December 20 2021: Japan has launched its COVID-19 vaccination app for smartphones. The app – ‘新型コロナワクチン接種証明書アプリ‘ or ‘New Corona Vaccination Certificate Application’ – can be downloaded for free and once activated, is used to scan the user’s ‘My Number’ card. The user’s vaccination history will then be viewable on their phone. Certificates are also now available with a domestic version used a proof of vaccination at restaurants and events while the overseas version can be used for international travel. To operate the app, users also required their 4-digit PIN they would have set for their My Number card and to select where they had their vaccination. Once entered, the certificate should be displayed along with a QR code which can be scanned to display the user’s vaccination history. If the user wishes to use the app for international travel, they will also need to enter their passport details.

September 6 2021: the government has announced that from December onward, it will issue digital COVID-19 vaccination certificates. While not all details have yet been confirmed, the certificates are intended to be used for international travel and function via a smartphone app and QR scan code. When further details are announced, we will update this page.

July 26 2021: from today onward, municipalities will be accepting applications for COVID-19 vaccination certificates. At the current time, only a handful of countries will accept the document which is used in combination with a passport. It does not however exclude a person from quarantine requirements when entry Japan or the other country.

July 12 2021: the government has announced that applications for vaccination passports will be accepted as of July 26. Initially, passports will be issued as paper documents – listing the person’s name, passport number and vaccination history – with the possibility of a digital passport to follow. We will update this page once more information becomes available.

See our ‘Vaccination Passport Time’ below for a history of significant dates and announcements in the roll-out of Japan’s COVID-19 vaccination passport and for further details about who can travel to Japan at this time and what’s required, see our ‘Traveling To/From Japan During COVID-19’ page.

2 / WHICH DIGITAL PASSPORT WILL JAPAN USE?


phone-mobile-application

As noted above, Japan has now launched its ‘新型コロナワクチン接種証明書アプリ‘ or ‘New Corona Vaccination Certificate Application’ for smartphones. The app is designed for both domestic use and international travel and requires the user to have a ‘My Number’ card and 4-digit PIN, and for users wanting to travel internationally, they will also require a valid passport. See ‘How it Works’ below for further details.

Until now, local municipalities had been issuing their own certificates while the govenrment considered the options available for a digital certificate. Through 2021, multiple digital platforms have been proposed and developed internationally including the ‘IATA Travel Pass’ by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the ‘Vaccine Credential Initiative’ supported by some big tech companies, the ‘Digital Green Pass’ being developed by the European Union and the ‘CommonPass’, developed by the World Economic Forum.

As reported on March 15th, Japan participated in the trial of the CommonPass at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. Using the smartphone application, participants underwent a PCR test which was transmitted to a laboratory with negative test results received within on their phones via the app. Common Pass testing is being tested by airlines around the world including United Airlines, Cathay Pacific and Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) also intending to participate. As referenced above, other forms of digital certificate are also in development. Representing 290 airlines, the IATA developed their ‘IATA Travel Pass’ app with airlines including Singapore Airlines and Emirates Airline participating.

3 / HOW IT WORKS


phone-connected

The vaccination certificate is a digital platform that carries the vaccination history of the user. It is downloadable as a smartphone app and records the COVID-19 vaccination history of the user along with test results including any polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and antigen tests the user has undergone. Here’s how to download and use it*:

1 / download the app to their phone from the official website.

2 / once installed, follow the prompts to accept the terms and conditions and then enter the required information – please note, you will require a ‘My Number’ card and 4-digit PIN and for users wishing to use the app for internatinoal travel, you will also need your passport.

3 / once all information has been entered and verified, after 20 to 30 seconds your vaccination history should be displayed.

4 / a QR Code should also be generated which can be scanned to verify your vaccination history.

*please note, download and registration is only available in Japanese. We are in the process of creating a step-by-step guide in English to assist with the process. It will be online soon.

4 / JAPAN’S VACCINATION PASSPORT – FAQs


airport

There are still lots of questions surrounding the choice and roll-out of a digital vaccination passport in Japan. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions:

When will it be launched?

The app has now been launched. It can be downloaded onto any smartphone and once the registration process is complete, the user’s vaccination history should be displayed. At this time the app and registration process is only available in Japanese.

I can’t have a test or use the digital passport. Can I still travel to Japan?

The Japanese government has expressed reservations about use of any type of vaccination passport if it discriminates against people who have not or cannot be vaccinated. It is a good sign that people who are not yet vaccinated will still be able to travel and the digital platforms under development will record and evaluate the user’s COVID-19 testing history, which if negative will hopefully still allow them to travel to Japan once the border is open.

Does use of a digital passport mean that I don’t have to quarantine in Japan?

Another unknown. The intention of introducing a digital vaccination passport is to facilitate ease of travel and avoid periods of quarantine. So hopefully that’s the case however it can’t be said for certain and it’s important to note that travellers are still subject to satisfying health requirements upon arrival in any country, and potentially could be required to quarantine if there are any concerns about their health status.

5 / VACCINATION PASSPORT TIMELINE


vaccination-passport-banner

The following timeline details announcements and developments in the roll-out of Japan’s COVID-19 vaccination passport:

December 20 2021: Japan has launched its COVID-19 vaccination app for smartphones. The app – ‘新型コロナワクチン接種証明書アプリ‘ or ‘New Corona Vaccination Certificate Application’ – can be downloaded for free and once activated, is used to scan the user’s ‘My Number’ card. The user’s vaccination history will then be viewable on their phone. Certificates are also now available with a domestic version used a proof of vaccination at restaurants and events while the overseas version can be used for international travel. To operate the app, users also required their 4-digit PIN they would have set for their My Number card and to select where they had their vaccination. Once entered, the certificate should be displayed along with a QR code which can be scanned to display the user’s vaccination history. If the user wishes to use the app for international travel, they will also need to enter their passport details.

September 6 2021: the government has announced that from December onward, it will issue digital COVID-19 vaccination certificates. While not all details have yet been confirmed, the certificates are intended to be used for international travel and function via a smartphone app and QR scan code.

July 26 2021: from today onward, municipalities will be accepting applications for COVID-19 vaccination certificates. At the current time, only a handful of countries will accept the document which is used in combination with a passport. It does not however exclude a person from quarantine requirements when entry Japan or the other country.

July 12 2021: the government has announced that applications for vaccination passports will be accepted as of July 26. Initially, passports will be issued as paper documents – listing the person’s name, passport number and vaccination history – with the possibility of a digital passport to follow.

June 21 2021: the government has announced that it will start to issue paper vaccination certificates/passports by July. The document will include the name of the person and information about the vaccination they have had with the information provided in both Japanese and English. It has not yet been confirmed which countries will accept the document in order to travel abroad. The government has declared that a paper document is the easiest to arrange at short-notice while some form of electronic vaccination passport is still being considered. At this time, Japan is not intending to make a vaccination passport mandatory for entering Japan, when the international border re-opens.

June 8 2021: media reports are stating that the government is intending to introduce ‘inoculation certificates’ this summer, in order that Japanese citizens and residents can travel abroad with priority given to business travel. Reports provide little real detail however with no explanation of when and how this will take place.

May 19 2021: the government has announced that it will set-up a ‘study team’ that will consider the possibility of issuing digital ‘vaccination certificates’. Issued by local municipalities, the certificates would act as verifiable evidence of a person’s vaccination history. This reflects a move in some foreign countries and an expectation that such documents may be required to travel internationally, once borders begin to reopen. Details remain vague at this time.

April 29 2021: the government has announced its intention to introduce a ‘vaccination passport’ in Japan, in an effort to open its international border. The digital platform is expected to be accessible in the form of a smartphone app, with travellers using a QR code generated by the app to check-in and upon arrival in their destination country. In the case of Japanese citizens and foreign residents of Japan, the app will link to the ‘Vaccination Record System’ to access the user’s vaccination and testing history to generate a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response to whether they can travel.

March 15 2021: Japan has started participation in a trial of the ‘CommonPass’ at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. The CommonPass is a ‘universal digital certificate’ which displays the vaccination history and/or COVID-19/PCR test results of the user on their smart phone. The user’s history and results are then used to generate a QR code that allows them to check-in and travel. It is hoped that the introduction of a universal digital pass will allow international travel to recommence as soon as possible.