Photo/Illutration A vaccine certificate in France can be saved in a special app via a QR code. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

Municipalities in mid- or late July will start issuing certificates that confirm a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, with international travelers from Japan being the first targets, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said.

Kato, the chief government spokesman, told a news conference on June 17 that the certificates will be based on records kept by the local governments on their inoculation programs under the preventive vaccination law.

“At the beginning, the vaccine certificates will be issued in paper form, but we will also consider issuing them electronically,” he said.

He added that the central government will start briefing municipalities about the certificates as early as next week.

The government previously set up a task force on the matter under Kato.

Japan’s plan comes after various countries abroad moved to ask travelers to present such certificates upon entry.

The Japanese government’s plan to initially limit the certificates to international travelers is also intended to prevent discriminatory acts in Japan. For example, if the certificates are issued to all people who are vaccinated, businesses might deny service to those without the certificates.