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Japan to Introduce Tuberculosis Testing for Travellers from the Philippines, Vietnam, China, Indonesia, Nepal, & Myanmar

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In 2024, the Japanese government aims to mandate tuberculosis tests for individuals from six countries seeking to enter Japan for over three months.

Japanese Health Minister Keizo Takemi said the six countries affected by the tuberculosis testing requirements are the Philippines, Vietnam, China, Indonesia, Nepal, and Myanmar. He pointed out that a significant number of new tuberculosis cases in Japan originate from these countries, VisaGuide.World reports.

Data provided by Japan’s National Tourism Organization revealed that during the first ten months of this year, Japan welcomed around 19.8 million visitors, with over 320,000 tourists arriving from mainland China and 150,000 from Hong Kong.

As reported by local media, tuberculosis infections in Japan currently remain relatively low, with the incidence rate dropping to 8.2 cases per 100,000 people in 2022, marking the second consecutive year below ten.

This places Japan in the World Health Organization’s category of nations with a low incidence of the illness. On the other hand, mainland China reports a higher rate of 52 cases per 100,000 people, while Hong Kong documented 50.13 cases per 100,000 people in 2021.

According to government data, nearly 12 percent of new syphilis cases in Japan are attributed to individuals arriving from abroad, and this percentage is on a gradual incline.

Despite these health statistics, Japanese health authorities highlight another concern, noting a significant rise in syphilis cases. As of October 29, the country reported a record 12,000 cases last year, marking the fastest rate of increase since comparable data became available in 1999.

In addition, individuals displaying symptoms or testing positive will be subject to quarantine. India has also initiated random testing of two percent of international airport passengers.

In February 2023, Japanese authorities dropped the mandatory COVID-19 testing mandate for travelers arriving from China. As a result, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said that the government would switch to a selective approach, abandoning universal testing for all travelers from China. Instead, only specific randomly selected individuals upon their arrival in Japan were subjected to mandatory testing for COVID-19.

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