Japan may eliminate Covid visa requirements for tourists

PHOTO: Japan is considering easing Covid-19 visa restrictions. (via David Edelstein / Unsplash)

As countries around Asia and worldwide have dropped Covid-19 restrictions, Japan is finally set to follow suit. The country has maintained strict border controls, with special Covid visas required for visitors to enter, even from countries that had previously never required any sort of visa.

It is reported that Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is considering easing those restrictions as soon as this week. The government in Japan planning on a slow rollout of the repeal of Covid restrictions by waiving the tourist visa requirements for some countries.

The relaxing of restrictions would then allow people to travel to Japan without a special booking created by a travel agency, but merely as an individual tourist. Last week the country discontinued a rule that called for a Covid test before departure, something that was previously required in many countries. While the other major economies around the world have since loosened their borders, Japan has been holding out on testing and travel requirements to battle the pandemic.

Japan also held onto a limit on the number of people allowed to arrive in the country each day. Last week the government decided to increase the daily limit from 20,000 people per day up to 50,000 people per day. There is now a discussion of eliminating the entire daily limit system by next month.

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The deputy chief cabinet secretary for Japan said in a television interview yesterday that the country should take action now to attract international tourism as the Japanese Yen is currently weakened, giving foreigners stronger buying power, an attractive factor in luring international travellers.

The elimination of the special Covid tourist visa requirements in Japan would bring the country closer to its pre-pandemic tourism requirements when 68 countries and regions were able to travel to Japan on holiday without any need for a visa.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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