Now due to commence in July 2021, having been postponed due to the global pandemic, the Tokyo Olympics are expected to attract a wealth of international visitors to Japan.
However, with the ongoing risk of Covid-19 transmissions, and concerns over overburdening the Japanese healthcare system, both financially and logistically, according to Kyodo News, the Japanese government are allegedly considering making international private medical insurance (IPMI) cover a mandatory requirement for entry to the country.
Amending laws to validate IPMI cover
Currently, Japan will treat Covid-19 patients for free, regardless of their nationality, as it has classified the virus as a ‘designated infectious disease’. And even with IPMI, visitors will still be treated for free by the Japanese health system, placing additional strain on public health expenditure.
The Japanese government will need to reclassify the coronavirus, or else amend the country’s related laws in order for private health insurance to cover visitor’s treatment costs. Otherwise, the public will bear the brunt of these healthcare costs.
Concerns around public expenditure first arose after a coronavirus outbreak affecting around 700 passengers was reported onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in early 2020.