PewDiePie, the world’s most popular YouTuber, has relocated to Japan after the country laid back its Covid-19 entry rules for some visa holders. The 32-year-old has a massive online following, with 111 million YouTube subscribers, but has previously faced backlash for offensive jokes.
He posted a video this week detailing his arrival in Japan with his wife and dogs, which has some of the world’s strictest virus border controls.
“For so long, we questioned whether we could even make this move, and we went through all the ups and downs, and evidently it’s been a really long journey,” the streamer, real name Felix Kjellberg, said.
“But I just want to thank everyone who has been so appreciative of us going… it just ’s awesome to be here, finally.”
Since March, Japan has allowed foreign business visitors, students, and other new residents in, but it has remained closed to tourists, despite the prime minister’s promise of a gradual relaxation of the rules beginning next month.
Details on who will be allowed to enter and when will be announced, but Japanese media reports suggest that group tours may be resumed first and that the government is considering scrapping Covid-19 testing upon arrival.
Before the pandemic, Japan had welcomed a record 31.9 million foreign visitors in 2019 and was on track to meet its goal of 40 million by 2020.
Mr Kjellberg, who previously lived in the United Kingdom, announced in 2019 that he had purchased a home in Japan.
The star has been in hot water several times, including for videos containing anti-Semitic and racial slurs, and he was temporarily blocked from Twitter in 2016 after joking that he had joined the Islamic State group.
He previously stated that he was “sickened” to learn that the gunman responsible for the 2019 New Zealand mosque massacre had encouraged his videos prior to opening fire.