Japan Says China’s Anal Coronavirus Tests Causing ‘Great Psychological Pain’

Japan's newly appointed Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato speaks as he announces a list of cabinet members during a press conference at the prime minister's office in Tokyo on September 16, 2020. - Yoshihide Suga became Japan's new prime minister earlier on September 16, with the former chief cabinet secretary …
KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images

The government of Japan on Monday asked China to stop using anal swab coronavirus tests on Japanese citizens, a practice to which the U.S. has also objected.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Katsunobu said Japanese citizens subjected to the procedure have complained that it caused “great psychological pain.”

Kato did not specify how many Japanese living in China have been subjected to anal swab testing. He said his government has not yet received a response from the Chinese Communist Party about changing their coronavirus testing procedures, so Japan will continue “pressing the issue.”

Kato noted anal swab testing is apparently used only in China and “has not been confirmed anywhere else in the world.”

Asked about Kato’s remarks Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Wang Wenbin would say only that China will “make science-based adjustments to its relevant epidemic control measures in accordance with the changes in the epidemic situation as well as relevant laws and regulations.”

The U.S. State Department revealed last week that a number of American diplomatic personnel were required to submit to anal coronavirus testing by the Chinese government. 

“The State Department never agreed to this kind of testing and protested directly to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when we learned that some staff were subject to it,” a department spokesperson said. “We have instructed staff to decline this test if it is asked of them, as was done in the past.”

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