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2020/06/01 Update

Japan plans to ease entry restriction for some countries

Japan plans to life travel ban on Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand

Thailand, Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand are the first four countries to be considered for easing restrictions on foreign nationals' entry into the country in response to the global spread of the new coronavirus, according to the government.

The current deadline for worldwide entry restrictions is set for the end of June, and the relaxation is expected to be implemented after the summer.

Infections in all four countries have calmed down, and there are growing calls from business people for the resumption of traffic. Vietnam, Australia and New Zealand are participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP 11), and Economic Revitalization Minister Nishimura has indicated his intention to exchange views on easing it as early as June. In addition, many Japanese companies have expanded their business into Thailand as a potential market.

It is envisioned that businessmen and others will be allowed to enter the country after receiving a written proof of a negative PCR test before leaving their home country, and after arriving in Japan, they will be tested again if they test negative.

On the other hand, the Japanese government is cautious about the early resumption of visits to China and South Korea, which have made offers of easing to Japan, and is expected to ease the situation only after the second round.

 Since China has come under increasing criticism from the US because of failing to report the outbreak at its early stage, if Japan rushes to resume the traffic, it could trigger a backlash from the US government, thus need to be taken in account thoroughly.

The government is expected to formally determine the target countries for the first round and the timing of mitigation after assessing the future infection situation and other factors.

Source: Yomiuri shinbun