Japan to Require TB Test for Tourists from 6 Countries, Including Indonesians
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Japanese government will require tourists from Indonesia and five other countries to take tuberculosis (TB) tests before entering Japan beginning in 2024. The tests are intended for tourists planning to visit for more than three months.
This information was conveyed by Health Minister Keizo Takemi last week, as quoted by Asahi Shimbun. According to the minister, there were many new TB patients in Japan who came from these six nations.
These nations are the Phillippines, Vietnam, China, Nepal, Myanmar, and Indonesia.
Takemi was responding to a question from Kozo Akino, a member of ruling coalition partner Komeito, at a meeting of the Upper House Committee on Health, Labor, and Welfare.
People in those countries will be asked to take TB tests at Japanese government-designated medical institutions before they travel to Japan. If they test positive, Japan will not issue visas to them.
“We are making preparations for implementation as soon as possible,” Takemi said. “We hope to start in the next fiscal year.”
According to the health ministry, 10,235 new TB patients were registered in Japan in 2022. However, since 2021, the number of TB cases has fallen below 10 per 100,000 population, making Japan a “low endemic” country for TB as classified by the World Health Organization (WHO). Still, 11.9 percent of the new TB patients are from abroad, and the ratio continues to increase.
There have also been cases of people from countries with high TB rates developing the disease while in Japan. Drug-resistant TB has also become a problem abroad.
For these reasons, the ministry in 2018 decided to introduce these tests. Initially, the TB tests would be implemented after July 1, 2020, but it was postponed.
ASAHI SHIMBUN | MOFA.GO.JP
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