Cover Japan plans to roll out its vaccine passport this summer (Photo: Yoshikazu Tsuno/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

The roll-out begins with a paper certification and will follow with a digital version, similar to the EU's digital vaccine certificate

Japan plans to begin rolling out its own vaccine certifications this summer for vaccinated residents who wish to travel abroad in a bid to encourage business travel and boost economic activities, according to Nikkei Asia.

In April, France became the first country to launch a digital vaccine passport called TousAntiCovid and the European Union followed suit, launching their own in July ahead of the easing of travel restrictions around the territory.

Japan will first issue a paper version of the certificate and will follow with a digital version, possibly through a smartphone app. In April, Taro Kono who's leading Japan's administration of the vaccine said, "other countries are doing it, so Japan will have to consider it too," when announcing its plan to adopt a vaccine verification system.

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Users will need to present the vaccine passport when taking international flights and entering foreign countries. Among the most anticipated users are foreigners living in Japan who haven't been able to return to their home countries, as well as Japanese citizens going overseas for study or business.

While Japan has sped up its vaccination drive over the past week as The Japan Times reported, it's still lagging behind other developed nations. So far only nine per cent of Japanese residents have been partially inoculated, while only three per cent completed the two-dose requirement according to data from the Brown School of Public Health. Vaccinations in corporate workplaces will only start this June 21.

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