Japan to reopen to all long-stay foreigners

Tokyo International Airport - before the coronavirus outbreak

Japan will reopen its borders for all foreign visitors with permits to stay in the country for some time, including students but excluding tourists, from October, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Friday.

The announcement marked a major easing of entry restrictions imposed to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

“To revitalise the economy, it is indispensable to resume international travel,” Suga told a government task force on coronavirus response.

Japan currently imposes an entry ban on 159 countries and regions. Foreigners who have been to any of the places within 14 days of their arrival are being turned away, with some exceptions.

The government has started gradually rolling back its travel restrictions. Foreigners with resident status in Japan who had traveled outside the country have been allowed re-entry from September.

Expatriates and other long-term residents have already been allowed to come from some Asian countries, including Vietnam and Thailand. Foreign students on government grants can also enter the country.

By Kyodo News