The Philippine Embassy in Tokyo reached out to over 17,000 Filipinos in Japan on 02 October 2020 to discuss the COVID-19 situation in the country, its effects on the Filipino community, and the Embassy’s assistance to Filipinos affected by the pandemic.
Philippine Embassy in Tokyo Chargé d’affaires Robespierre L. Bolivar was a guest at the Laging Handa Press Briefing organized by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) and the People’s Television Network (PTV4), where he noted that the Embassy has been open to the public since June, even while the COVID-19 infection rate, especially in Tokyo, remains high. He further stated that the Embassy’s emergency services have been operational round-the-clock even during the period when Japan’s state of emergency was in effect.
He emphasized that while the Government of Japan has eased travel restrictions beginning 01 October 2020, tourists are not yet allowed into Japan. He stated that only Filipinos who are long-term residents of Japan, or who have host agencies in the country who will guarantee their stay are allowed to travel into Japan at this time.
Chargé d’affaires Bolivar reported that the Embassy has been able to repatriate over 1,000 Filipinos stranded in Japan, including 500 seafarers from the MV Diamond Princess in February.
He further assured the Filipino community in Japan that the Embassy will continue to deliver efficient and effective public service while continuing to observe COVID-19 prevention protocols. He stated that, “while we are open for business, it is not yet business as usual. We need to balance the need to deliver public service with the need to protect the health and well-being of the applicants. We will need to maintain the appointment system and other COVID-19 prevention measures for the foreseeable future, but we assure the public that we are continuously improving our ability to provide public service in this new normal.”