Visa-free entry for Japanese nixed in response to Tokyo’s move
Mar. 14, 2020
Global Korean Post
By Kim Eun-young and Lee Jihae
The government on March 9 reciprocated Japan’s strengthened restrictions on Koreans entering Japan.
Korea thus terminated visa–free entry for Japanese and voided the existing visas of Japanese in Korea.
Those headed to Korea from Japan must undergo additional checks when receiving their boarding passes and going through customs and immigration. Those entering Korea from Japan also face a special entry process in which they must write their contact information and the address of their accommodations in Korea.
All non-Korean nationals requesting visas from Korean diplomatic offices in Japan must fill out health status forms by hand.
“Japan’s measures of quarantining Koreans for two weeks and terminating their visa exemption are excessive,” Cheong Wa Dae Spokesperson Kang Min-seok said on March 8 in a written statement. “As it did when imposing trade sanctions, Japan did not discuss this with Korea in advance.”
“We terminated the visa exemption of Japanese based on reciprocity,” he said, adding, “This is a just action to take as a sovereign nation.”
“Our decision is also a comprehensive one that factored in Japan’s inadequate actions for preventing the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), lack of transparency and the spread of the epidemic.”
The spokesperson added, “The number of diagnoses Japan is doing is incomparably low compared to Korea’s and thus Japan’s COVID-19 status is unclear.”