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Japan will reopen to visa-free and independent tourists and lift the daily arrival cap



Japan will reopen to visa free and independent tourists and lift the daily arrival cap

Japan will permit visa-free, independent tourism and abolish its daily arrival cap as of Oct. 11, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Thursday, denoting a significant policy shift after almost 2½ years of severe Coronavirus limitations.

Japan will loosen up its Coronavirus border control requirements starting next month with an end goal to help its suffering tourism industry and battling currency, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida declared Thursday.

The government will likewise launch a nationwide travel discount program, which had been retired because of the spread of Coronavirus infections.

Japan will ease border control requirements Oct. 11, eliminating a maximum daily entry cap, presently set at 50,000 guests, continuing visa waivers and accepting tourists who are not traveling with a guided group, Kishida said during a news conference in New York, where he was going to the U.N. General Assembly.

He said Japan will likewise start nationwide domestic travel and event discount programs.

Kishida made the hotly anticipated declaration during his visit to New York for the U.N. General Assembly.

“I hope many people will utilize them,” Kishida said at a news conference. “I want to support the travel, entertainment and other industries that have been struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.”

The decision was hailed by the country’s top two airlines.

“We are extremely happy to see the long-awaited easing of restrictions,” Shinichi Inoue, president of All Nippon Airways, the core unit of ANA Holdings, told reporters Friday. “We will increase flights from the end of October to welcome customers from abroad.”

“The economic impact of inbound travelers before the COVID-19 pandemic is said to be roughly ¥5 trillion, and we are pinning great hopes that there will be economic effects of similar size,” Inoue said, adding that the yen’s sharp decline against the dollar “will definitely serve as an incentive” for foreign individuals to come to Japan.

He said it will prompt stimulating regional economies also, as there are many individuals who want to travel to various areas of Japan.

Japan Airlines also welcomed the move, saying in a statement that the organization will fully get ready to welcome guests and add to renewing the Japanese economy.

Japan has been permitting tourists since June, beginning with individuals on guided tours. On Sept. 7, the government permitted those on nonguided tours who had booked their flights and hotels through registered travel agencies.

Yet, those actions have been unpopular with numerous foreign tourists who want more noteworthy freedom during their trips.

Tourists should be vaccinated three times or submit a negative Coronavirus test result in front of their trip, Kyodo News revealed, refering to government sources.

A nationwide domestic travel program offering discounts for travel, entry to theme parks, and for sporting events and concerts is likewise set to begin on Oct. 11. Individuals who have been vaccinated three times or submit a negative test result will be qualified for the discounts, as per the report.

The program offers financial help of up to ¥11,000 ($77) per person for a one-night stay.

The moves will be welcomed by the country’s tourism sector, which has been hit hard by the pandemic.

Travel agencies have been encouraging the government to defer the visa requirement for tourists, which has been a significant obstacle for those wishing to come to Japan. In some cases, prospective tourists needed to submit their visa application face to face to the closest government office or department, while others didn’t get their visas in time for their travel plans.

In 2019, a record 31.88 million foreign travelers visited Japan, however the figure dove to around 250,000 in 2021 because of the closed borders.

The daily arrival cap has been raised step by step throughout the past six months, first to 5,000 on March 1 and in the end to the current 50,000.

Japan has step by step facilitated a large number of the strict border controls it forced toward the start of the pandemic. It first permitted entry to certain students and business travelers, followed by tourists in guided groups and eventually dropped the requirement that travelers show a negative Coronavirus test result within 72 hours of arrival.

In any case, this will be the first time in more than two years that foreign tourists can easily enter the country. Unintentionally, a generally weak yen against the U.S. dollar, an issue for domestic consumers, implies seriously purchasing power for tourists entering Japan.

The yen, in a monthslong decline, fell Thursday to almost 145 for each U.S. dollar, its lowest since 1998, preceding government finance authorities moved to support the currency.

Japan experienced a fairly low number of Coronavirus related deaths and infections all through the pandemic, however businesses, including the tourism industry, were smothered by severe government-imposed limitations.

With limitations eliminated, Japan might see spending by inbound tourists of around 2.5 trillion yen in a year, about portion of the level in 2019, Kyodo News revealed Sunday, refering to an economist at SMBC Nikko Securities Inc.

The facilitating of the border control requirement comes as disease numbers fall from a record high.

The record-breaking pandemic wave in Japan started in late June and was ascribed to the omicron subvariant. It topped in late August at levels not found in the past two years.

The seven-day average of new cases came to 226,915 per day on Aug. 21 with an average of 279 deaths, over twice the average fatalities during the omicron wave over the winter, as per the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

The one-day record for new cases arrived at 260,948 on Aug. 19, and record 350 peopled died from Coronavirus complications on Sept. 2, as per the center’s online data. Japan has reported 44,095 pandemic deaths.

New cases of Coronavirus each day have fallen consistently since August to around 70,000 on Wednesday, as indicated by Johns Hopkins. Around 125 individuals actually surrender to the Covid respiratory disease in Japan each day.

In Tokyo, the destination for many foreign travelers, the pandemic peaked July 28 with 40,395 new cases, as per the metropolitan government’s online Coronavirus records. The metro government revealed 8,850 new cases on Thursday. Fatalities arrived at 40 per day on Aug. 12. Metro information online shows 5,758 individuals died in Tokyo during the pandemic.

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