Japan Becomes Latest Country to Issue Digital Vaccine Passport
Japan is becoming the latest country to issue digital vaccine passports, according to a report, allowing citizens to use proof of inoculation to travel internationally once again.
The digital passport will be available through a mobile app and will be linked to the government's vaccination program, Japanese news outlet Nikkei Asia reported. Vaccinated citizens currently receive a certificate in paper format.
The passport is in talks to be added to an app that is expected to debut next month as a means to show negative test results.
Once finalized, the app will be aimed at both Japanese citizens as well as foreign travelers in Japan who want to return home, according to Nikkei Asia. As of now, the government is not looking to use the vaccine passport for domestic travel.
Several countries have embraced the concept of a vaccine passport for their citizens, including China and Denmark. Similarly, others have welcomed vaccinated travelers from across the globe, like Iceland and Greece.
The United Kingdom has proposed countries develop an internationally-recognized vaccine passport to aid the eventual return to normalcy, a concept Japan is aiming for as well. Nikkei Asia noted the Japanese digital health pass will be in line with international standards, referencing those developed by the CommonPass as well as the European Union's eventual passport.
While these digital passes could get international travel off the ground again, it won't be in time for the summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo. Earlier this month, organizers said overseas spectators will not be allowed to attend the games.
International tourists can't head to Japan right now, but there are ways to experience the best of the country from the comfort of home — and a computer screen. Thrill seekers can virtually tour the newly-opened Super Nintendo World, peeking inside rides like Mario Kart: Koopa's (Bowser's) Challenge and Yoshi's Adventure; while those looking for a bit of calm can tour the Japanese countryside on a virtual train ride.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.