Baku, May 27, AZERTAC
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Thursday that foreign tourists will be allowed to enter Japan on package tours from June 10, paving the way for the full resumption of inbound tourism, which has been suspended for more than two years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Japan Times.
Although Kishida said that Japan’s strict border controls were necessary to buy time to vaccinate the population and ensure that proper health care measures were in place, he added that the government will ease restrictions from here on.
The move comes after Japan began a trial of package tours involving foreign tourists on Tuesday. The visitors need to be vaccinated three times, including a booster shot, to participate in the tours, which each consist of a small number of people.
Japan is currently the only Group of Seven country still refusing to allow the normal entry of foreign tourists.
The government has already said it will raise the daily cap on new arrivals to 20,000, up from the current 10,000, after it started allowing limited entry of foreign students, business travelers and academics in March.
Japan has seen a precipitous drop in the number of foreign visitors to the country during the first two years of the pandemic. For a country that has positioned tourism as a key pillar of its economic growth strategy, the impact of the loss of tourists is stark.
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