Japanese business community wants further relaxation of border controls

A notice of COVID-19 safety measures is pictured next to closed doors in a departure hall at Narita International Airport on the first day of border closures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus variant Omicron in Narita, east of Tokyo, Japan, November 30, 2021. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

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TOKYO, June 10 (Reuters) – Japan’s business community issued a joint statement on Friday calling for further easing of border controls as the country begins a gradual easing of COVID-19-related travel restrictions.

The statement from domestic business lobby Keidanren and foreign chambers of commerce called for further easing to “facilitate an environment where people, goods, money and digital technologies can flow freely.”

Japan began a gradual reopening to tourists on Friday after a ban of more than two years. But visitors must be part of organized tours accompanied by guides at all times to ensure compliance with infection controls. Read more

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Prime Minister Fumio Kishida pledged last month to align Japan’s border measures, among the toughest in the world during the pandemic, with those of other wealthy democracies. Read more

The joint statement, signed by US and European trade lobbies, urged Japan to restore visa waiver eligibility for its Group of Seven trading partners.

The group also advocated for a rapid return to individual tourist travel, an easing of COVID testing at airports and a lifting of the daily cap on international arrivals.

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Reporting by Rocky Swift; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Stephen Coates

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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