Philippine Ambassador to Tokyo Jose Laurel V on Thursday said Filipinos in Japan are generally “fine” amid the rising number of new COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) cases and the declaration of the state of emergency in several major prefectures and cities there.
Laurel said the Embassy does not have any big data of new COVID-19 cases involving Filipino nationals except for those that were previously reported, referring to the 80 seafarers from Diamond Princess and 41 from Costa Atlantica, who were aboard international cruise ships.
In Osaka, he said a total of 82 Filipinos have tested positive for COVID-19 but all have since recovered except for two individuals who are still undergoing treatment.
Out of the 56 cases recorded in Tokyo, one died due to infection, according to the Filipino diplomat.
“Beyond that, everybody is fine,” Laurel said during the virtual interview at the Laging Handa briefing.
Laurel admitted that vaccination in Japan is quite slow as compared to the Philippines due to the “meticulous” attitude of the Japanese.
“Masinsin sila (They’re very detailed), they’re very, very meticulous. You know the Japanese, di nagbabago ang kanilang patakaran basta-basta (they don’t easily change their system). They really study their system, their system is very basic,” the ambassador added.
Due to the exponential increase of new COVID-19 cases in Tokyo, Osaka, Hokkaido, Aichi, Kyoto, Hyôgo, Okayama, Hiroshima, Fukuoka, and Okinawa, restrictive measures have been put in place, affecting travel to and from Japan, including contact with Filipino athletes who are participating in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
Laurel said the only ones allowed to travel to Japan at the moment are the members of the diplomatic community and those in essential services.