On Thursday, Japan announced that it would lift tough COVID restrictions on foreign tourists and reopen its borders after two and a half years. Speaking at the New York Stock Exchange, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that the pandemic had interrupted the free flow of people, capital, and goods that helped the nation to flourish.
From October 11 to 11, Japan will relax border control measures to be on par with the US and will resume visa-free travel and individual travel. These are the words of Kishida as he is in the city for the United Nations General Assembly. Japan, like China, has been a holdout in continuing tough restrictions on visitors. But Japan and China never imposed a strict lockdown during the crisis.
Visitors who come to Japan will enjoy a week yet it has plummeted so low against the dollar that the finance ministry intervened in the currency market. For the first time since 1998, all of this happened on Thursday. The return visa-waiver program was suspended in March 2020 to restore the ease of access that saw a record of 31.9 million foreign visitors to the country in 2019. Since June, Japan has allowed tourists to visit in groups accompanied by guides, a requirement that was further relaxed to include self-guided package tours as well.
- When was the return of the visa-waiver program suspended?
Ans. March 2020
- When did the currency market intervene?
Ans. Thursday since 1998
- When will Japan relax border control measures?
Ans. October 11