The Japanese government will require long-stay visitors from 6 Asian countries to be tested for tuberculosis (結核 – Kekkaku) before they travel to Japan.
The new visa requirement will be applied to people from the Philippines, China, Vietnam, Nepal, Indonesia, and Myanmar who plan to stay in Japan for more than 90 days.
Applicants will be checked for tuberculosis at designated medical institutions. Visas will only be issued if they can prove they do not have symptoms of the disease or have already been cured.
Japan’s health ministry will apply the new requirement after reaching agreements with the 6 countries, which all have high rates of tuberculosis.
The ministry says an increasing number of foreign nationals in Japan are developing the disease, while the number of Japanese patients has been declining.
It says a record 1,338 cases of foreigners with tuberculosis were confirmed in 2016.
The ministry says many of them traveled to Japan without knowing that they were infected.