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Japan

1. Emergency Measures

Decrees, orders or guidelines in effect and pertaining to reopening facilities.

In Japan, the state of emergency declared on 7 April 2020 was lifted on 25 May, and now is the phase to increase the level of socio-economic activities gradually by relaxing the request to stay home, to conduct gatherings and to limit the use of facilities, on the basis that “the new lifestyle” is well-established in society and the economy as a whole. From the legal perspectives, under the state of emergency, the governors requested various measures, but there have been no statutory directives enacted to combat the COVID-19 pandemic restricting activities of business and individuals and/or imposing specific obligations on employers. There are no sanctions (e.g. fines or penalties) for non-compliance with any of these measures. Everything is just a request and not an order and therefore cannot be required. Please note, however, that requests, guidance and/or recommendations announced by the government, including those for the purpose of combating COVID-19 would be commonly considered as the guidelines that should be followed, regardless of whether sanctions could be applied or not, and therefore it would be advisable for employers to take careful but flexible measures in a practical manner, especially in the course of returning to work.

Basic Policies for Novel Coronavirus Disease Control was decided by the government on 28 March 2020, which presents measures to be taken to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The English summary of the latest policies on May 25 is available at: https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/10900000/000634753.pdf

Optimal approach to keep track of the latest updates.

The latest information on COVID-19 in Japan is available at: https://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/bunya/newpage_00032.html

Any questions

Ask our member firm Atsumi & Sakai in Japan