Govt to keep close watch on XE variant

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The government will keep a close watch on the XE omicron variant of the novel coronavirus, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said Tuesday.

The top government spokesman made the remark at a press conference after the new omicron subvariant was detected in Japan for the first time recently through airport quarantine. The XE subvariant was found in a passenger who arrived at Narita Airport, near Tokyo, on a flight from the United States late last month.

“We will keep a close watch on the new omicron subvariant while gathering information on scientific findings about it and on the situations in other countries,” Matsuno said. “We will make an appropriate decision on border measures based on responses by other major nations and the level of demand for returning home among Japanese expatriates.”