After alleged pressure from the domestic business circles, the Japanese government has opted to introduce vaccine passports. Here is a quick guide to the program.
What is a Japanese Vaccine passport?
The ‘Passports’ are said to display the date of the vaccination and the vaccine manufacturer. The documents could also contain virus test results.
To get the passports out fast, they will be in the paper format first. A digital version is to follow, but what system the government will opt to use is still unannounced. The rumours go that it will take after the European Union’s Digital Vaccine Passport.
The hope is that they will speed up business travel by bypassing the travel quarantine times.
The first ones are to be issued at the end of June.
Are Japanese Vaccine passports mandatory?
No. Because of the controversy sensitive nature, the Japanese lawmakers operate, they are not.
Why should you get one?
Having one could potentially speed up travel times. Although, much is yet uncertain. If the vaccine passports get designed after the European Union concept, the holders will likely travel to the EU countries close to the pre-pandemic way.
How much will the Japanese vaccine passports cost?
Nothing. According to the latest announcements, the passports are to be issued free of charge.
How to get a Japanese vaccination Passport?
Once you have got the vaccination shots, you apply for it at your local municipal office(市役所 Shiyakusho).
As the vaccinations keep rolling out and the digital database gets (hopefully) updated to a more sophisticated format. It could be possible that by the end of the year(when most people get their shots), it is also possible to apply for it online or through an app that does not yet exist.
The chances that travel to EU countries gets sped up are good. It is hard to say about the other continents yet. We will know once the program starts.
Also, there is the elephant of the vaccination availability in Japan.
Despite the recent efforts and passing the goal of hitting a million vaccinations per day, completing the vaccination of Japan’s population by the end of summer or even autumn is still on shaky legs.
Depending on the priority group you are in and your work circumstances, it could take till the end of the year to get vaccinated.
Let us hope that by then, we have sorted out all the details and we know all the Ifs and Whats of vaccination passports.