Official: Japan aims to remove COVID-19 entry cap early

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Passengers wait in line at an international departure gate at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport on Wednesday.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The government aims to remove the country’s entry cap linked to the COVID-19 pandemic as soon as possible, a senior government official indicated on Sunday.

The government raised the maximum number of people allowed into the country per day to 50,000 on Wednesday.

But Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara said in a television program, “If asked whether the move is enough, I say it’s not.”

Kihara also mentioned the possible removal of restrictions on foreign tourists traveling in Japan on their own, as well as the resumption of visa-free travel.

“We’ll have a comprehensive review [of COVID-19 border control measures],” Kihara said. “And we need to do that sooner than later.”

Expressing hopes for demand from tourists from abroad, Kihara said, “There are many autumn and winter attractions in Japan.”

Amid the current weakness of the yen, he noted that inbound travel is expected to greatly help the Japanese economy.

“As countries around the world are resuming exchanges, we cannot lag behind,” Kihara stressed.