Press Conference by Foreign Press Secretary OHTAKA Masato
Wednesday, March 25, 2020, 4:36 p.m. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Provision of Information to Japanese Nationals Residing in Foreign Countries or Traveling Overseas
Mr. OHTAKA Masato, Press Secretary: I would like to discuss one matter in my opening remarks. It is about provision of information in relation to the novel coronavirus to Japanese nationals traveling overseas. As novel coronavirus infections are spreading globally, the Government of Japan is working to provide information and alerts, including Warnings on Infectious Disease, in a timely and appropriate manner using websites, emails, and other means to Japanese nationals residing in foreign countries or traveling overseas.
In particular, recently as many countries and regions are now implementing immigration restriction measures, including immigration bans and border closures for people attempting to enter their countries as well as suspension of flight operation, MOFA is uploading the information we are aware of to our Overseas Safety Website and other sources daily, and widely providing alerts to Japanese nationals residing in foreign countries or traveling overseas.
In addition, on March 18, MOFA issued a Warning on Infectious Disease at Level 1: Exercise Caution for the entire world, and also requested Japanese citizens to reconsider the necessity of overseas travel or postponing it.
MOFA would like Japanese nationals residing in foreign countries or traveling overseas to exert all efforts to gather the latest information and prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, bearing in mind the possibility of further spread of infections and strengthening of mobility restriction measures.
Novel Coronavirus (Raising of Warning on Infectious Disease Levels)
NHK, WATANABE: I would like to ask about the Warnings on Infectious Disease. The levels have been raised gradually until now, and the entire world was just raised all at once to Level 1. Are you considering further raising the Warning on Infectious Disease Level for a large geographical area or several regions today or at some point this week?
Press Secretary OHTAKA: As the World Health Organization (WHO) is also stating, the novel coronavirus is spreading considerably now. Amidst this, as I stated in my opening remarks, we are swiftly providing necessary alerts while reviewing them in light of changes, bearing in mind various matters including the further spread of infections going forward, the circumstances of infections, and measures to restrict mobility being taken by various countries.
In that sense, although this is not a stage in which I can say specifically when and what alerts we will provide, it should be understood that MOFA could issue such information at any time. From that perspective, I would like to request the people of Japan to pay even more attention to the information we issue daily on the Overseas Safety Website and other sources.