Japan will scrap tough pandemic-related border restrictions from October, paving the way for mass tourism for the first time in two and a half years.
Japanese Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida, announced this in New York City, while attending the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). He said that individual travel and visa-free entrance would resume on October 11. This is as the third-largest economy in the world attempts to rebuild its connections with the rest of the globe.
“We are a nation that has flourished through the free flow of people, goods and capital,” Kishida said on Thursday.
“COVID-19, of course, interrupted all of these benefits; but from October 11, Japan will relax border control measures to be on par with the US; as well as resume visa-free travel and individual travel.”
With Japan set to open its borders, China is the only country yet to lift its strict border controls. Japan has only allowed tourists on pre-arranged excursions since June, with a daily arrival limit of 50,000. Restrictions have been partially loosened since then. Additionally, visitors must apply for visas.
The reopening of Japan, according to Gary Bowerman, director of the travel and tourism research firm Check-in Asia, would serve as “a major barometer” for the recovery of travel in the Asia Pacific, which has trailed behind other regions of the world.