Govt plans to lift ban on entry of individual tourists

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, second from left, speaks at the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday.

The government plans to lift an entry ban on individual tourists around October, significantly relaxing border controls that were imposed to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Taking into account the decrease in the number of new cases of the infection, the government is to scrap the current daily entry limit of 50,000 people, and will allow visitors from the United States and certain other countries to stay in Japan for a short period of time without a visa.

The government intends to bring border control measures closer to those that were in place before the spread of the disease as part of its efforts to increase the number of individual travelers, the primary source of visitors to Japan.

A plan is being considered for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who will visit the United States next week, to make the announcement during a speech he is scheduled to deliver at the New York Stock Exchange, according to government sources.

According to a government official, Kishida said in a speech in Tokyo on Thursday, “We will soon further ease our coronavirus border controls to allow smooth entry into Japan, in a way comparable to other Group of Seven countries.”

Currently, Japan is the only G7 country that places a cap on the number of people entering the country.

The government currently allows foreign tourists to enter the country on package tours. With the depreciation of the yen rapidly progressing, the business community and other sectors expect to see more travel spending by individual visitors to Japan.