YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan —

The United States and Japan recognize and take seriously the severity of the rising number of COVID-19 cases throughout Japan. U.S. Forces, Japan (USFJ) and the Government of Japan (GOJ) are working closely to ensure the safety of the Japanese public and U.S. military personnel and their families, balancing the high levels of readiness necessary for deterrence and fulfillment of Treaty obligations for the security of Japan and maintenance of international peace and stability in the region.

As Secretary of State Blinken, Secretary of Defense Austin, Foreign Minister Hayashi, and Defense Minister Kishi discussed at the 7 January 2022 Security Consultative Committee (“2+2”), the United States and Japan are committed to working together to protect the health of the Japanese people and U.S. service members. In this spirit, USFJ and the GOJ are focused on implementing prudent, appropriate, and medically informed measures to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus which causes COVID-19. Noting the extraordinary virulence of the Omicron variant spreading throughout Japan, including in and around SOFA Article II facilities and areas, USFJ will take the following actions to further protect its personnel and local communities:

1.    For 14 days, with implementation on 10 January 2022, movement of USFJ personnel outside of SOFA Article II facilities and areas will be restricted to essential activities only.

2.    USFJ has also implemented a mandatory masking policy for all personnel, both on and off base, when outside of their residences.

3.    USFJ will maintain its strict pre-departure and post-arrival testing procedures, and firmly enforce Restriction of Movement (ROM) requirements until the end of the 14-day quarantine period.

4.    USFJ, in consultation with the GOJ, will continuously monitor the COVID-19 situation and make adjustments to these measures as necessary.

In addition to these actions, under the auspices of the U.S.-Japan Joint Committee, the United States and Japan will cooperate in sharing relevant case information and consulting closely regarding additional measures to manage and minimize the spread of COVID-19 as appropriate.

The GOJ appreciates the strong commitment, extraordinary flexibility, and cooperation of USFJ to transparently and continuously implement stringent COVID-19 mitigation measures, as demonstrated by the rapid vaccinations of U.S. and Japanese personnel associated with SOFA Article II facilities and areas as well as the measures and additional cooperation announced today.

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