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Japan launches app to display Covid vax proof

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Tokyo, Dec 20 (IANS) The Japanese government on Monday launched a smartphone app that allows people to display proof of Covid-19 vaccination that can be used for multiple purposes, including immigration procedures.

According to the government’s Digital Agency, ‘Covid-19 Vaccination Certificate Application’ is available for both iPhone and Android smartphones, showing information including the number of doses a user has received, the dates of inoculation, and the vaccine manufacturer, reports Xinhua news agency.

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The app allows people to obtain vaccination certification through the “My Number” national identification system. All citizens and residents of Japan are issued 12-digit ID numbers, however, My Number cards need to be applied for separately.

By scanning their My Number cards with a smartphone, people can have their inoculation status displayed on the app. The vaccination information is saved in a cloud system created by the government, called the Vaccination Record System (VRS).

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The VRS system does not cover people from all municipalities, and the list of municipalities whose residents are eligible for the service is available on the Digital Agency website.

Users who wish to travel internationally will need to add passport data. So far, instructions on the app are provided only in the Japanese language.

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Besides using the digital certificates for quarantine inspections in destination countries, the agency is also considering domestic use in a program designed to loosen Covid-related restrictions for people with proof of vaccination or negative tests even when the country re-enters under a pandemic-induced state of emergency.

The app is “expected to be used for lowering infection risks in daily lives as well as economic and social activities”, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told a press conference on Monday.

The Agency also warned that some registered vaccination data might be incorrect, and users could seek any necessary corrections at their municipalities.

–IANS

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