Japanese government sources said on Friday, Japan is looking to begin discussions with around 10 countries and regions including China, South Korea and Taiwan next week on easing travel restrictions imposed to restraint the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The talks are expected to prioritize allowing businesspeople to enter, with other countries that have the outbreak under control such as Brunei, Myanmar and Laos also under consideration.
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Currently Japan has an entry ban in place for 129 countries and regions and with foreign travelers who have been to any of the areas within 14 days of their arrival being turned away.
According to the Govt. data travel to and from Japan has slowed down to a trickle since earlier this year of the pandemic.The country saw just 1,700 inbound foreign travelers in May while 5,500 Japanese departed, both down more than 99 percent from a year earlier.
On a condition of COVID-19 negative test result and an itinerary of where they plan to visit during their stay, The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has already started discussions with Vietnam, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand on easing travel restrictions.
A chartered plane carrying 150 people already flights to Vietnam partially resumed in June .
China and South Korea are expected to pose a larger challenge because of the sheer number of people that could potentially come to Japan, which is still limited in the number of tests it can administer daily.
On Friday Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told a press conference that Japan is looking to hold discussions with countries seeing declining coronavirus infections and with high demand for business trips.