Japan is to introduce TB screening for travelers from the Philippines, Vietnam, China, Indonesia, Nepal and Myanmar.

By 2024, the Japanese government aims to make tuberculosis tests mandatory for people from six countries who intend to enter Japan for more than three months.

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

In the first ten months of this year, Japan welcomed about 19.8 million visitors, including 320,000 tourists from mainland China and 150,000 tourists from Hong Kong, according to data provided by Japan’s National Tourism Organization.

According to local media reports, TB infections in Japan are currently relatively low, with an incidence rate of 8.2 cases per 100,000 people in 2022, falling below ten for the second year in a row.

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

According to government data, nearly 12 percent of new syphilis cases in Japan are caused by individuals from abroad, and this percentage has been steadily declining.

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

In addition, people who show symptoms or test positive will undergo quarantine. India has also started random screening of two percent of passengers at international airports.

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

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