Asia Minute: Japan eases some travel restrictions — but others remain
Japan will soon start to ease some of its restrictions on visitors. But there will still be a number of rules to follow.
Starting Wednesday, the daily limit on people arriving in Japan will be raised to 50,000 — up from 20,000. That includes Japanese travelers returning from overseas destinations such as Hawaiʻi.
But that won’t immediately ramp up the number of Japanese arrivals to Hawaiʻi — the focus is on visitors from overseas coming to Japan.
Starting in June, Japan allowed casual travelers to come in tour groups — not a popular option.
The country’s Immigration Services Agency says June and July saw a total of about 8,000 visitors — far from the monthly average of 265,000 in 2019.
All visitors still need to get a visa — usually through a travel agency — in case a visitor comes down with COVID-19 while in Japan.
And if you have not had two vaccine shots plus at least one booster, you will need to take a PCR test within 72 hours of your flight.
Elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific, travel rules have been eased in locations from Australia to Vietnam.
On Wednesday, South Korea announced visitors will no longer need a negative COVID test before boarding a flight — although a test on arrival is still required.
In Japan, government officials say more details about the country’s travel rules will be coming soon.