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Japan eyes possible easing of travel restrictions for China, South Korea among others

Top News2020-07-11


Japan is hoping to enter talks next week with a number of countries and regions including China and South Korea about the possibility of easing travel restrictions issued due to the coronavirus pandemic, government sources said here Friday.

According to the sources, the talks involving around 10 countries will most likely seek to at first accommodate the travel of business people from countries who have effectively combated coronavirus outbreaks.

Along with China and South Korea, countries that may also be approached by the government here to discuss the easing of restrictions include Brunei, Myanmar and Laos, the sources said.

The Japanese government has already held similar talks with Vietnam, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand.

Flights to Vietnam partially resumed on June 25 with a chartered plane carrying 150 people leaving Narita Airport near Tokyo.

The flight, the first of three, was arranged by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Vietnam and operated by Vietnam Airlines.

Japan currently has an entry ban in place for 129 countries and regions, with foreign travelers who have been to any of the areas within 14 days being denied entry to the country.

Travelers from the permitted overseas countries would have to undergo PCR coronavirus tests before arriving in Japan to prove they are negative for COVID-19, the sources said.

Upon landing in Japan, they may be required to take another PCR test, they added.

Those qualifying for entry will be also be required to submit to officials details of their place of residence during their visit here as well as an itinerary of places they intend to visit, the sources said.

They may be asked to refrain from using public transport and possibly be required to use a GPS app on their smartphone so in the case they are or do become infected, contact-tracing can be carried out.

Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told a press briefing Friday that Japan is looking to hold talks with countries and regions that have succeeded in tackling the spread of the virus and have seen numbers of infections decline.

Motegi said that along with this, countries with a high demand for business trips will also be prioritized.

"It won't take too long for us to begin looking at the second group of countries," Motegi said.


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