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Japan releases proof-of-vaccine app expected for use in foreign travel

The Japanese government's proof-of-vaccination app (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- The Japanese government began distributing an app on Dec. 20 that allows users to show proof of vaccination against the coronavirus.

    Its official name roughly translates to the "novel coronavirus vaccine identification app," and it's managed by Japan's Digital Agency. The app is available free from the App Store for iPhone users, while Android users can obtain it from the Google Play Store.

    The app is expected to be used as part of the vaccine and testing package that will ease controls on movement even under states of emergency, and in procedures to travel overseas. On a user's smartphone screen, the number of shots, the date of vaccination, type of vaccine and the production lot number for their doses are shown, among other information. Users can hide their name and date of birth. According to the Digital Agency's website, information for the foreign-travel version of the app's proof of vaccination will be displayed in English.

    The app is connected to the government-run Vaccination Record System (VRS), meaning users must have a "My Number" individual identification card. Residents of some municipalities will reportedly not be able to use the app from Dec. 20 due to an ordinance specific to where they live, and the Digital Agency has released a list of municipalities where the app can be used on its website.

    (Japanese original by Yusuke Matsukura, Business News Department)

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