Japan to loosen travel restrictions imposed during COVID-19 pandemic

NEW YORK: Japan’s strict border restrictions will be loosened next month, the prime minister announced on Thursday (Sep 22), allowing tourists to easily enter for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

In a news conference at the foot of Central Park in New York, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said independent tourists would again be welcomed as of Oct 11, not just those traveling with authorised groups.

A cap on the number of tourists will also be lifted, as will new visa requirements that were imposed in response to the pandemic.

Kishida was speaking on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. In other remarks, he called for reform of the UN Security Council and dismissed any scepticism about Japan’s increased military spending, saying it remained a “peace-loving nation”.