Tokyo requests China stop using anal swab COVID-19 test on Japanese citizens

Some Japanese have reported back to their country extreme "psychological pain" from the Chinese testing procedure.
Chinese vaccine production plant

The Japanese government is asking Beijing to change its testing protocols after claims by some Japanese citizens living in China that the anal swab virus test is causing them significant psychological distress, a Japan spokesperson said Monday.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said the government has not received a response that Beijing would change the testing procedure, so his country will continue to ask China to alter the method of testing, Reuters reports. 

"Some Japanese reported to our embassy in China that they received anal swab tests, which caused a great psychological pain," Kato said at a news conference.

The testing procedure has been implemented in China as a way to step up the effectiveness of detecting the virus, although Japan claims the method "has not been confirmed anywhere else in the world."

The test is used on some individuals in quarantine and those traveling to China.

The United States has taken a stance against the testing method after U.S. diplomats were reportedly forced to take the anal swab test just last week, which China denies.