What does a state of emergency in Japan mean for language students?

By Tao
Reading Time: 2 minutes

UPDATE: As of March 21, 2021 Japan’s state of emergency has ended.

The Japanese government has declared a new state of emergency for the beginning of 2021. So what does a state of emergency in Japan mean for those who are here studying Japanese?

Details of the state of emergency in Japan

The state of emergency is in effective until February 7 in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama. It will also be extended to several other parts of Japan including Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo, Aichi and Gifu prefectures.

It has been imposed to help slow the spread of the virus and to prevent Japan’s medical system from being overwhelmed.

However, unlike some other countries, the Japanese government does not have the legal power to impose penalties for those who do not follow requests to stay indoors.

People are advised to stay at home as much as possible and endeavour not to be out past 8pm. Working from home is being encouraged, but schools and public transport will remain open as normal.

In addition, people are being advised to avoid crowded places with large events to be restricted to half of their capacity and no more than 5,000 attendees.

Grocery stores, pharmacies and convenience stores will continue to open as normal. Businesses such as theatres, department stores and amusement parks can remain open, but are encouraged to close their doors by 8pm.  Likewise, restaurants, karaoke bars and other eateries that served alcohol are also allowed to remain open, but will also have an earlier imposed closing time of 8pm.

Impact on language school students

If you are already in Japan, it’s important that you comply with the government’s requests. This is for your own health and safety, as well as the health and safety of others.

Note that you will not be fined or penalised for not following the government’s requests. But it is important that you try to stay home as much as possible until the state of emergency is lifted.

For those applying for the April term, we advise you to continue your application process as normal and to follow the steps we send you.

The official term starting date is yet to be confirmed but please note that students may be required to arrive at least 14-days before term starts to allow for mandatory quarantine measures.

Due to this possibility, a good idea would be to wait for closer to the term start date to see if there are any further requirements or additional information before you make any flight and accommodation arrangements. 

We will continue to update you with any further announcements or changes that could affect you.

If you think you might have contracted coronavirus, please read our article here to find out what to do next.

For news and information about coronavirus, please see the WHO website.

Go! Go! Nihon is here to help and support our students as much as we can in the circumstances. If you have any concerns or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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