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Japan (definitely not) opening to tourism in April 2021 on a trial basis


chadbag

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railsquid
1 hour ago, Yavianice said:

https://soranews24.com/2021/03/19/travelers-entering-japan-will-have-to-install-location-confirmation-app-skype-on-smartphones/

 

If you want to enter japan as a foreigner, you are required to install spyware on your phone. Also if you are a resident (with a visa).

 

Per the article, also if you are a citizen, with a Japanese passport:

 

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The regulation affects all classes of inbound travelers (Japanese citizens, foreign residents of Japan, and temporary business/tourism travelers).

 

It would certainly be an effective policy if the idea was to quarantine the phone. However I believe it is actually possible to leave home without your phone, or even own more than one phone... And why Skype?

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Yavianice
43 minutes ago, railsquid said:

It would certainly be an effective policy if the idea was to quarantine the phone. However I believe it is actually possible to leave home without your phone, or even own more than one phone... And why Skype?

 

Sorry I should have clarified:

 

Is this also applicable to people that are currently in japan, and if not, why not? It does say japanese citizens, but the ones that live abroad and not in Japan? How long are you supposed to have it installed?

 

43 minutes ago, railsquid said:

And why Skype?

 

Estonian lobbyists probably ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

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I was going to post this. The official documentation is here:

 

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/000753094.pdf

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/000755135.pdf

 

The OSSMA app is available here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jp.co.emergency.ossma

 

It allows you to contact authorities for health assistance. It was designed for students but they seem to have repurposed it. It does not seem to track you, reporting your location is voluntary. It makes sense, if you need assistance and your Japanese is not good it could be difficult to ask for without the app. That's why the app was created in the first place.

 

The other one is Skype, which they require for you to communicate with them. This may be because foreigners are generally not allowed to buy SIM cards capable of voice calls, only data. You have to be a resident of Japan to legally buy a voice capable SIM card.

 

They also ask that you turn on location history on your phone, for potential contact tracing. It seems they will ask for the data on request. After the 2 weeks of isolation you can remove the apps.

 

Overall it seems quite reasonable. If you are worried you can get an app called Shelter for Android that lets you sandbox other apps so they can't access your personal stuff, and I can verify that it works with Skype.

Edited by mojo
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katoftw
5 hours ago, Yavianice said:

... It does say japanese citizens, but the ones that live abroad and not in Japan? How long are you supposed to have it installed?

It is for inbound travelers only. So not need to install if living abroad.

 

I'd make a strong assumption that you need it install for the duration of your emposed quaranteen period.

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JR East
5 hours ago, mojo said:

The other one is Skype, which they require for you to communicate with them. This may be because foreigners are generally not allowed to buy SIM cards capable of voice calls, only data. You have to be a resident of Japan to legally buy a voice capable SIM card.

 

 

When I went to Japan, I purchased that https://www.japan-experience.com/sim-card-for-japan

 

It's for data, but it's working with What'sapp, etc ... thus you're able to have a voice call. Bridged with my SIP phone .. I can call anywhere in the world. 

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10 minutes ago, JR East said:

 

 

When I went to Japan, I purchased that https://www.japan-experience.com/sim-card-for-japan

 

It's for data, but it's working with What'sapp, etc ... thus you're able to have a voice call. Bridged with my SIP phone .. I can call anywhere in the world. 

 

That's an interesting product. Unlimited data for a number of days.

 

I always get one from Yodobashi Camera. They have a data limit but the last one was 10GB and I could have had half that much. You get a maximum of 31 days from activation to use it up. IIRC it was about 4000 yen.

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railsquid
7 hours ago, mojo said:

The other one is Skype, which they require for you to communicate with them. This may be because foreigners are generally not allowed to buy SIM cards capable of voice calls, only data. You have to be a resident of Japan to legally buy a voice capable SIM card.

 

The question is - why Skype, and not Line, which does the same thing and is used everyone and their pet rabbit including various government agencies? I'd guess not because of very recent security issues, but maybe because the COCOA app was developed by Microsoft.

 

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katoftw
3 hours ago, railsquid said:

 

The question is - why Skype, and not Line, which does the same thing and is used everyone and their pet rabbit including various government agencies? I'd guess not because of very recent security issues, but maybe because the COCOA app was developed by Microsoft.

 

Line is really only used in eastern and south eastern asean regional countries. Maybe by selecting/choosing skype, they are attempting to use a more boarder internationally used product.

Edited by katoftw
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railsquid

True, dat, though I thought WhatsApp was the chatware of choice in Restoftheworld?

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10 hours ago, railsquid said:

 

The question is - why Skype, and not Line, which does the same thing and is used everyone and their pet rabbit including various government agencies? I'd guess not because of very recent security issues, but maybe because the COCOA app was developed by Microsoft.

 

 

Because LINE needs a phone number to sign up, if I recall. You need to receive an SMS to verify your account.

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I should have added that SIM cards available to foreigners in Japan are not able to get SMS. They are purely for data only, no voice, no SMS.

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railsquid

Or more precisely (lest anyone get the wrong impression) not available to temporary visitors.

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disturbman
5 hours ago, railsquid said:

True, dat, though I thought WhatsApp was the chatware of choice in Restoftheworld?


WhasApp and Skype are used differently. In my entourage, Skype is mostly a professional tool used for video calls and small conference groups. WhatsApp and Messenger are for informal chats and video calls.

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Same generally here. Skype also as a backup phone.

 

jeff

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gavino200

A slight aside (sorry). Anyone have an explanation for why almost nobody in the US uses the internet apps for chat and messages? It seems that Europe and Latin-america use Whatsapp (especially LA), China uses Wechat, Non-China east asia uses Line. But the US seems to use none of them. Everyone here uses SMS all the time. I've often wondered why. I'm a big fan of Whatsapp myself. 

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I think here in the US social media has become the standard for non-professional chat.  Facebook messenger was what everyone used back when I was in highschool, and while it's fallen out with the younger generations it's still very popular as a facebook page is almost guaranteed.  For the younger crowd discord is very popular, as it combined both voice chat like skype (but with much better service than skype in the past few years) and the text channels can be used as either a group chat or as a small forum with distinct channels.  Whatsapp and Telegram are probably the most popular for communication in the US.  Telegram seems to be growing among younger users, .   Having not used whatsapp myself I can't speak for it, but it seems to be fairly popular and is taking the place of facebook messenger. 

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serotta1972

While waiting for BART, I noticed there was one aircraft at the International Terminal B at SFO. 

79861C1F-1D91-4E1F-9952-E0AA0603EAC6.jpeg

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chadbag
5 hours ago, gavino200 said:

A slight aside (sorry). Anyone have an explanation for why almost nobody in the US uses the internet apps for chat and messages? It seems that Europe and Latin-america use Whatsapp (especially LA), China uses Wechat, Non-China east asia uses Line. But the US seems to use none of them. Everyone here uses SMS all the time. I've often wondered why. I'm a big fan of Whatsapp myself. 

 

We use LINE and Apple Messages (which if both parties are on iPhones or Macs, stays inside the Apple network and is end-to-end encrypted).  Apple Messages does use SMS for non iPhone targets.

 

A lot of people I know use WhatsApp.   I think FB Messenger is probably the biggest non-SMS messaging service in the US.   I have no desire to use anything FB related for messaging so avoid both Messenger and WhatsApp.

 

I know my wife's sisters have stopped using LINE and are now using Apple Messages for the family discussions because of all the recent LINE security issues.

 

We used to use Skype at work for various chat/group chat/calls but now use Slack as of a few years ago, so my Skype account has not been logged into since.

 

In the US, pretty much all cell phone services have become unlimited minutes for Talk and no "long distance" charges  (there are probably still a few edge-case plans out there with limited minutes).  So I think most people just use regular telephone calls for voice in the US.  No need for Skype or other services for most people.

 

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gavino200

Another aside (I'll stop after this one, I promise). I was looking through old photos today and I found this. This was in 2017. I was amazed by how many people in Tokyo were walking around with face masks. I bought a few to try it out and see what it would feel like to do something so weird. How times change! Oscar was just humoring me. He thought it was stupid.

 

5FDxpT3.jpg

Edited by gavino200
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Could be this last year! I wore a mask a lot in grad school in lab and have for decades in the wood shop or using leaf blower etc, so it’s never phased me at all. Brain loop is there if something is floating around not good for me to suck in put something in the way to block it. Even if it doesn’t get it all, reducing your exposure is always better than nothing (and what studies show for particulate and viral exposure). It’s never freaked me out seeing folks with masks on in public in other countries as the brain loop said makes sense, pollution, pollen, disease there try to stop some of it.

 

jeff

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gavino200

I was surprised by how common it was, so I did a little research to see if I had arrived in the midst of an epidemic. I read that quite a few people just wore masks to reduce on unnecessary social interaction. Women may wear them so they could duck out of the apartment without needing to put on make-up for example. That's what I read. No idea if there's any truth to it. Personally, I find that masks tend to make people just a little more reserved. Where I live, I actually welcome that. 

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