Japan Calls on Nationals in China to Return amid Coronavirus Crisis

Politics

Tokyo, Feb. 12 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government called on its nationals in China Wednesday to immediately consider returning to Japan, in response to the spreading outbreak of the new coronavirus.

The government also said Japan will newly ban entry of foreign nationals who have recently been in China's Zhejiang Province, effective Thursday.

The announcement followed a cabinet decision Wednesday to give the government a freehand in shutting out foreigners to prevent the coronavirus epidemic from spreading further in the country.

Currently, the entry ban applies to those who have stayed in Hubei Province, whose capital of Wuhan is the epicenter of the viral outbreak, within two weeks, as well as holders of Hubei-issued passports and passengers and crew members on the Westerdam cruise ship, which departed Hong Kong early this month.

"It's crucial to take more comprehensive and flexible border control measures to stop the inflow" of the pneumonia-causing virus, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at the day's meeting of the novel coronavirus response headquarters held at the prime minister's office.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press