Japan To Begin Easing Border Restrictions Starting In March

Japan To Begin Easing Border Restrictions Starting In March

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Japan will start easing entry restrictions next month after closing its borders for two years. Updates include reducing quarantines and lifting bans on some international arrivals.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida made the announcement at a news conference late Thursday local time.

Streets of Higashiyama Old Town, Kyoto, Japan
Japan To Begin Easing Border Restrictions Starting In March 16

Current ban on foreign students, business travelers to be lifted

The country is reportedly planning its next steps as the sixth wave of the virus is fading. Japan’s current travel restrictions are scheduled to expire at the end of February; they include a ban imposed on November 30, 2021, after the outbreak of the Omicron variant, barring all non-resident foreigners from entering the country.

“We are gradually moving towards the exit of the sixth wave. We need to start preparing for the next phase in stages,” Prime Minister Kishida told a news conference.

Japanese smiling traveler
Japan To Begin Easing Border Restrictions Starting In March 17

Japan Renews Entry Restrictions – Information for Travelers

Japan’s reopening next month will be a gradual process, The Japan Times reported. Here’s an overview of the travel updates announced today:

  • The travel ban on business travellers and other international arrivals visiting for “non-tourism” purposes will be lifted.
  • For those receiving booster doses, the quarantine period for international arrivals in Japan will also be shortened from seven days to three days. If travelers come from countries where “the outbreak is under control,” they may be able to skip quarantine altogether.
  • Japan increased the daily cap on the number of international arrivals allowed into the country from 3,500 to 5,000.

The Prime Minister also confirmed that Japan’s travel guide will continue to be reviewed in the future. “This is just the first step. I will continue to think about how far we can ease the measures (border restrictions),” Kishida said.

View of Japanese garden from traditional house
Japan To Begin Easing Border Restrictions Starting In March 18

Announcement follows calls from universities, businesses and politicians to reopen borders

Today’s announcement follows reports earlier this week that the country is looking to lift restrictions on some foreign tourists.also followed Business groups and academics call on government to reopen borders and ease travel restrictionsciting their impact on the country’s economy and reputation.

About 147,000 foreign students with visas are waiting to enter, according to the Japan Immigration Bureau. By continuing to ban foreigners from entering, Some believe the country’s reputation will suffer.

Osaka Shinsekai Yetsutenkaku
Japan To Begin Easing Border Restrictions Starting In March 19

Politicians in Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) also called on the government to ease restrictions. Tomohiro Yamamoto, chairman of the LDP Education Policy Committee, made the following statement at a party meeting earlier this week:

“International students who cannot come to Japan choose other countries, which damages Japan’s international reputation. There are cases where Japanese exchange students are rejected because of this. If it affects our national interests.”

Japan has implemented some of the strictest entry restrictions throughout the pandemic. With the exception of the Tokyo Summer Olympics, which was postponed until summer 2021, most foreign tourists have been barred from entry for the past two years.

Japanese white water rafting
Japan To Begin Easing Border Restrictions Starting In March 20

Japan Travel Restrictions: International borders should reopen

Kazunobu Ouchi, an executive at the Japan Travel and Health Association, defended Japan’s initial decision to seal off international borders in the context of the country’s geography and economy. “Japan’s approach is in line with textbook measures for infectious diseases,” Ouchi said.

However, now that experts have been studying the disease for two years and global vaccination rates are rising, many countries are deciding to ease most external and internal travel restrictions.

Pedestrians walk through heavy traffic at Shibuya Junction Plaza. Shibuya intersection is the busiest intersection in the world.Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan
Japan To Begin Easing Border Restrictions Starting In March 21

Ouchi argues that with Omicron variants already spread across the country, it doesn’t make sense for Japan to keep closing its borders. Future travel restrictions won’t need to be as strict as agents at air and port border crossings can check travelers’ vaccination status and, if needed, conduct coronavirus tests.

Japanese old village rustic wooden house
Japan To Begin Easing Border Restrictions Starting In March 22

read more:

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Japan To Begin Easing Border Restrictions Starting In March 23
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