Japan is looking to scrap most of its COVID-19-related restrictions on foreign tourists, including ending visa requirements and allowing individual tourism ahead of the autumn travel season, broadcaster FNN said.
The restrictions would be lifted for tourists who have had three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine or provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test, FNN said, without specifying where it obtained the information.
The government is also planning to lift daily limits on entries from overseas, currently set at 50,000, and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida might this week make a final decision, the report said.
The report came after Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara, a close aide to Kishida, told a TV program on Sunday that the weak yen would help the tourism industry and that the country must not fall behind the rest of the world.
He said the restrictions would be lifted at “an appropriate time.”
The Nikkei reported earlier that the cap on arrivals from overseas would end by next month. While Japan had raised the cap, nonresident foreigners are required to obtain visas for short stays, and may enter for tourism only as part of approved package tours, severely restricting the number of visitors.
Japan had about 246,000 foreign visitors last year, far from a record 31.9 million in 2019.
The government is seeking to take advantage of the weak currency ahead of the autumn tourist season, FNN said.
Fall, known for mild weather and colorful foliage, is one of the peak tourism seasons in Japan.
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