Sat, November 27, 2021


Japan to let in professional athletes from overseas after state of emergency is lifted

Final arrangements are being made to allow professional athletes from overseas to enter Japan after the state of emergency is lifted, government sources said.

Due to the spread of the coronavirus, all foreign nationals have been banned from entering, in principle, since mid-January. As a result, about 40 foreign members of professional baseball teams and about 40 such members of J.League soccer teams have been unable to come to Japan, according to sources.

One J.League team started the season without its coach because he is a foreign national.

The Nippon Professional Baseball Organization and the J.League asked the government earlier this month to allow the entry of foreign players after the state of emergency is lifted.

Even if the state of emergency ends on March 21 as scheduled, the ban on the entry of foreign nationals is likely to continue. However, the Immigration Services Agency of Japan has made exceptions when it recognized “special circumstances.”

The government is considering applying this to professional sports players, the sources said.

According to the agency, “special circumstances” include such cases as having a Japanese spouse, contributing to the public interest, and needing humanitarian consideration. Professional sports players are likely to be deemed as contributing to the public interest.

Even if professional athletes are allowed to enter Japan, they will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. The government is discussing details regarding the self-quarantine, such as the location and measures to confirm their movements.

Published : March 12, 2021

By : The Japan News/ANN