The United States has issued a travel ban on some Japanese nationals in response to the Japanese government’s proposal to tighten entry requirements for citizens of several countries.
The Japanese government is proposing to restrict entry to Japanese nationals to countries that the US considers to be in violation of U.S. sanctions against North Korea.
The United Nations Security Council is expected to discuss the issue in September.
US officials have said the ban would not affect Japanese citizens who are still in Japan but that US officials believe that the Japanese Government may revise its proposal.
A Japanese Embassy spokesperson said it was not yet possible to confirm the status of the proposal.
The U.N. Security Council would vote on the proposed changes to the North Korea sanctions, but they could take several weeks to reach consensus.
The proposal was drafted in response “to North Korea’s repeated and serious violations of international law and human rights, and to its threats to impose severe economic and political sanctions,” the Japanese embassy said.
Japanese President Nobusuke Kishi told a news conference that the current ban on Japanese nationals would remain in place until the U.A.E. implements measures to improve the human rights situation in North Korea, including the provision of food aid and improved medical care.
“We will continue to vigorously defend Japan’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and interests in accordance with the principles of the U-turn,” he said.
The US also announced on Wednesday that it would resume its visa waiver program for Japanese nationals.
The announcement was welcomed by human rights groups, including Amnesty International, which said it would help “a wide range of people, including women and children, who are fleeing North Korea for safety.”