Survey about Japan's border restrictions and the state of Japanese studies

Tomoyuki Sasaki's picture

Hello Japanese Studies Researchers!  

My name is Tomoyuki Sasaki. I am an associate professor of Japanese studies at the College of William & Mary in Virginia, in the United States. If you are a researcher in any Japan-related field (history, literature, sociology, anthropology, political science, international relations, cultural studies, film studies, gender studies, religious studies, musicology, etc.) who lives outside Japan and conducts research in Japan, I would like to ask for your help with the survey below concerning Japan’s current strict border restrictions and the state of Japanese studies.  

On March 19, 2020, the Japanese government banned the entry of all foreign nationals to Japan as part of its border restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, the restrictions have been gradually relaxed. As of August 2022, visas can be issued to those newly entering Japan for a long-term stay (such as study abroad or employment in Japan), short-term business, or a short-term package tour. In any of these cases, the one applying for a visa must have a “receiving organization” located in Japan. On the other hand, the Japanese government has not yet resumed the acceptance of foreign visitors with no visas, and therefore, most foreign nationals, which include a great number of researchers of Japan, are not eligible to enter Japan. In May 2022, Prime Minister Kishida stated that Japan would relax its border restrictions in line with the other G7 nations in June, but to this day, Japan is enforcing some of the strictest border controls related to COVID-19 in the world.  

Like so many of you, I have been very concerned that these border restrictions are preventing many foreign nationals from traveling to Japan freely. I have written on this issue for such media outlets as Nikkei newspaper and

The purpose of the survey below is to clarify the extent to which the pandemic and Japan’s strict border restrictions have affected Japan researchers’ current and future research and the field of Japanese studies. The results may be shared with media outlets interested in raising awareness of the issues of Japan’s extreme border controlsl and its ramifications.   

There are only ten brief questions. It will probably take five minutes or less. This is an anonymous survey. Confidentiality will be maintained. Your help will be greatly appreciated. Here is the link to the survey.

If you have any questions, please contact me at Thank you.



Tomoyuki Sasaki, Associate Professor, Japanese Studies, College of William & Mary