Japan to disclose names of quarantine offenders

Japan's health ministry is preparing to disclose the names of some people who broke the country's coronavirus quarantine rules.

The rules require all arrivals from foreign countries to self-quarantine for 14 days upon entry.

The visitors are also asked to sign a document pledging to report their whereabouts and conditions every day during that period, via a smartphone app or other means.

But the ministry said about 100 people each day failed to do so.

Officials are now in the final stage of arrangements to publish online the names of some offenders.

The ministry insisted that it is authorized to disclose the names of people who reneged on their pledge. Officials say they have refrained from doing so out of concerns such people might be subjected to disparagement and criticism.

The ministry is planning to change course as coronavirus variants spread across the globe. It will likely limit such disclosure to those it believes are malicious cases, such as people authorities haven't heard from for days.

The ministry rolled out a new smartphone app in mid-May in response to reports of trouble related to the previous app's communication settings.