Will Ospreay & Others Able To Enter Japan For NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 16 Despite New COVID-19 Restrictions

January 5th is still on

In response to the new Omicron variant of COVID-19, Japan Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced on Monday a ban on all new foreign entries into the country. Returning Japanese citizens and foreign residents will still be able to enter the nation, although they are now subject to stricter quarantine requirements. Those from the United Kingdom will need to quarantine for six days in government-designated facilities. 

Following the announcement, questions arose about Will Ospreay's status for Wrestle Kingdom 16, with The Commonwealth Kingpin scheduled to challenge the winner of Shingo Takagi vs. Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship on January 5.

In an update, the new travel restrictions won't prevent Ospreay and other gaijin from entering Japan, according to NJPW President Takami Ohbari.

"Under the current rules, we do not expect any problems with foreign wrestlers entering the country on a regular basis. It's just that new entries are restricted. (Foreign wrestlers participating in regular tournaments) have visas that allow them to work in Japan, so I've heard that those people will be treated as re-entering the country. I have confirmed this with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ospreay is also expected to come to Japan as scheduled and participate in the Tokyo Dome tournament," Ohbari told Tokyo Sports (translated using DeepL).

Ospreay has since confirmed he will be at Wrestle Kingdom 16, tweeting: "Shingo can't stop me. Okada can't stop me. Covid can't stop me. January 5th 2022, I'll be there."

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Journalist/Editor-in-Chief of Cultaholic.com Twitter: @theaidangibbons