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Businesses rattled by gov't caution to ease restrictions for foreign tourists


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Fear is a powerful thing unfortunately

13 ( +20 / -7 )

gogogo - Fear is a powerful thing unfortunately

Not as powerful as ignorance and stupidity.

14 ( +28 / -14 )

Businesses rattled by gov't caution to ease restrictions for foreign tourists

The concerns of the businesses are often posted in these articles but what of the workers?

In the tourist industry the majority laid off unceremoniously at the start of the pandemic. Will they get huge pay increases to lure them back to the precarious industry? Other nations are having a hard time even with large pay raises.

With inflation of the prices of basic commodities maybe the LDP/Japan Inc. is looking to the stick approach.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

JGov needs to look up the meaning of "Reciprocate". Business and tourism are welcome in other destinations. Japan is just losing!

10 ( +16 / -6 )

How many more tourist dependent businesses am they going to let go bankrupt? I see more and more every month. The people here should be pissed not "supportive."

14 ( +16 / -2 )

I understand how they feel. Tourist income is very important for hotels and restaurants. You can't survive on domestic tourism alone. Get the vaccine, get over this irrational fear and move on with life.

Or should we say 怖い and 反対 forever?

5 ( +10 / -5 )

This is truly a sorry situation for Japan's small businesses. For the third year in a row, I'll be travelling for a month or two in another country, instead of the one I prefer to visit. But, what the hell, there are a lot of different cultures around the world and if Japan's government chooses to isolate itself, I'll go elsewhere. Easy enough.

-1 ( +14 / -15 )

Kind of funny even how now there is actually much higher numbers reported each day, but we are done with it all.

Infections are much higher now than during the Delta era, but we freaked out about each positive case back then and closed down anyone connected to them.

Nobody would have opened up their borders with even a thousand positives in a city, much less 10,000- 20,000.

It was basically just perception, as now that we have done all we can (via pharmaceuticals), theres no more mention of deaths and infections and nobody to blame.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

It's political. Japanese populism targets tourists rather than migrants, as the restrictions on migrants are already really tight.

Just like Trump's migrant blocks and Brexit, it will cause economic and reputational harm, but win Kishida votes. He'll probably stick with it. He'll see it as 'taking back control' from Japan Inc.

It also hammers the sector that Abe fostered and his legacy, in the ongoing battle between factions.

One monkeypox case and he may even close the borders again, despite it being difficult to catch, easy to treat and regularly popping up around the world in the last decade or two.

Project Fear with Covid worked better in Japan than almost anywhere else, despite the mortality rate actually dropping in Japan during the pandemic. To quote from the International Journal of Epidemiology, 'All-cause mortality during the COVID-19 outbreak in Japan in 2020 was decreased compared with a historical baseline.' [https://academic.oup.com/ije/article/51/1/75/6413683]

And this is the country that embraced the term 'tourist pollution'. Tourists are unpopular in Japan and populists win votes by doing what people want. Somewhere down the line the economic cost will hit home in lost jobs and careers, closed hotels and shops, but there will be plenty of free MMT cash available to buy back the hearts and minds of some waverers. It's kept Johnson in power despite endless gaffes and scandals, so Kishida should be fine for a few years yet.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

Prior to the pandemic, Japan had been keen to boost tourism as a key pillar for economic growth, with a goal in 2020 to attract 40 million foreign visitors.

A very poor bet with such a precarious industry creating mostly dead end, low wage jobs.

To reiterate, what of the workers for these tourist related industries who were not provided for during the pandemic, unlike the tourist related service industries?

Other nations had payroll protection, enhanced unemployment and regular stimulus payments to affected workers.

Japan had none, only subsidies to businesses for complying with requests to shorten hours or no serve alcohol.

I do not see any incentive for people to ever work in this industry again, besides total desperation.

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

Japan is now the only G7 country rejecting foreign tourists due to the pandemic.

Last. As usual. Why would anyone expect anything else?

According to the Japan Association of Travel Agents, "a very limited number of countries such as Japan and China" do not accept foreign tourists.

Just like China.

A total of about 50 people from Australia, Singapore, Thailand and the United States are expected to arrive in Japan on the small-scale tours this month to visit various sightseeing spots with Japanese tour guides, according to the agency.

Just like North Korea, minus the taking passports away.

Masakazu Tokura, chairman of the Japan Business Federation, told a press conference on May 9, "Many Japanese travelled abroad for sightseeing and leisure during the Golden Week holidays. On the other hand, Japan is still not allowing foreigners to enter Japan for tourism."

Yes, a double standard move by Japan. Their most prolific type of action.

Time to cut the crap Japan, try being ahead of the pack for once. Quit being dead last every single time.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

"With the Osaka Kansai World Expo coming up (in 2025), we hope that Japan will open up quickly, if only to attract more foreigners to become Japan's fans,

so with this conclusion to the story it seems that the airlines and businesses mentioned within are predicting Japan will still be restricting tourists in 2025.

I cannot wait for the details of the 50 people trial of controlled restricted tourism. Will the be arrested if they escape their controlled itinerary? Will they stay in quarantined hotels or floors of hotels? Will they get some supervised visit to Akihabara for some shopping? Will Akihabara be cordoned off during their visit?

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Do know that throughout the pandemic Japan tourism run visit Japan advert on YouTube. To me this show that there is no government department at the helm. The Department of Tourism is just a front for set and forget program because if there was someone they would of pull all travel advert program until open for tourist. So when it come to meeting with G-7 we might see a better response concerning international tourism from Japan

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Absolute double standard lunacy! How are all those Japanese travelling overseas and returning any different than foreigners?

6 ( +12 / -6 )

This July election can't come around soon enough so this hypocrisy stops!

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

The Japanese government(s) prefers to damage it’s own economy rather than let these pesky gaijin let in their country.

It was and remains all about xenophobia (fear of the outside)

-8 ( +9 / -17 )

Keep the people beholden to the powers above and how they are protecting you when the reality is very different.

People fail to question and most have a short term memory about why there was a need to stop travelling or pay 30,000 yen for a test to travel or spend 2 weeks at a hotel despite not being infected.

Compare North Korea or China to Japan?

The shoe seems to fit more and more…

-7 ( +8 / -15 )

Maybe someone should sail some black ships into Tokyo Bay?

-12 ( +6 / -18 )

Lets be honest here, Japan is mostly trying to keep out unvaccinated, or poorly vaccinated Chinese, and given covid zero in China, there's no rush.

Japan's inbound rules is and will be heavily influenced by Chinese policies for the foreseeable future.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

There may be one positive outcome for Japan, should Kishida refuse to open up to tourists in the manner of other G7 countries.

If South Korea do open up, they can reach out and grab the lion's share of Japan's annual international tourist revenue. And then retain it, year on year.

If they stay closed, other SE Asian countries will divvy it up. But if Kishida gifts that sort of cash to Seoul, the least they can do in return is call it quits over historic issues and make up with Japan.

-11 ( +5 / -16 )

I read that border closings contributed very little toward containing the spread of Covid. Something less than 5%.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

seven people from the United States are slated to visit Japan as the first in a series of small-scale tours to assess the feasibility of resuming tourism

What on earth are seven people under escort in restricted areas going to tell us about the feasibility of resuming tourism.

Oh yeah, no one will want to come.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

"As vaccination is under way, I don't see what (the Japanese government) is protecting the public from," said a senior official of an airline company.

Its protecting the public from imaginary new strains and of course the usual; crime, noise, and smelly foreigners.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

"Many Japanese travelled abroad for sightseeing and leisure during the Golden Week holidays. On the other hand, Japan is still not allowing foreigners to enter Japan for tourism."

amazing isnt it, 10s thousands of Japanese traveled abroad during golden week, for which nearly all returned, yet somehow the gaijin can only spread covid, and all those Japanese that went overseas couldnt possibly bring covid back with them!? And many people think J politicians have common sense and follow the science!? Typical double standards again from Japan, all too common

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Japan is a slow country, slow to adapt. Mannerism of western culture, norms and behaviour gets here late, so these things are expected. A large percentage of the population live in fear of the virus, which isn't quite shocking. I personally don't wear mask anymore. Only at work because it's required. I generate stares, but I'm not intimidated as there is no law that says " I must wear a mask."

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

How many times does the average person get the flu in their lives? 10, 20... 30 times?

We now have omicron, which is transmitted in a similar way to the flu, except some 10 times more efficiently. Most scientists agree that it is headed for endemicity, if that point hasn't been reached already. Evidence so far suggests that neither vaccination nor infection provide long-term protection against re-infection.

So, am I missing something here, or isn't it now likely that the vast majority of susceptible adults will end up catching omicron or the variants that descend from it, maybe 5-15 times over the course of the rest of their lives, and someone born around now, could expect to be infected maybe 20-30 times? And if so, what on earth is the point of these super strict border controls, or even, any other kinds of preventative measures including mask-wearing or social distancing, given that there is no current threat to our healthcare services and there is none anticipated?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Just open the borders already.

I've had covid and unvaccinated, and it's nothing more than a flu/cold.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Playing with fire on this one, a weak Yen, a flatlined economy, people fearful and hesitant to spend, business closures up and down the country.

Tokyo placed 9th in a list of cities for 'international visitor spending' in Q2 2018, it's hurting the whole country from the bottom up. Closing the borders is a $46 billion rug pull. Keep this up and things are only going to get worse.

Absolute madness.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

seven people from the United States are slated to visit Japan as the first in a series of small-scale tours to assess the feasibility of resuming tourism

as a previous poster very aptly said it is right out of the Monty Python playbook as are continuing advertising for tourists to visit Japan when they simply cannot.

These trial visitors will be sponsored by the government and cost the participants absolutely nothing. The will likely be travel related executives and reviewers who will give glowing reports about how wonderful the controlled tours and Japan are, but I cannot see many people in the West signing up for these when they have to pay themselves, which will not be cheap even with the lower yen.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There is validity in rather focusing efforts to develop a solid core domestic tourism and to stop relying on foreign tourists. Japan is allowed to do what it wants and open its borders to whoever they choose. Just because other countries allow Japanese tourists to travel there does not mean Japan should be forced to reciprocate. It’s priority is to it’s people and what the government believes is in the peoples best interest. If you notice, there are no major protests from people who live in Japan to let tourists in as they do not follow local rules and think they know better (like some of the people who comment on here). All it is doing is making locals grow more weary of tourists. As the saying goes, “do in Rome as the Romans do”.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

@ asdfghjkl

It's not just about a few tourists wanting to come and see a few temples, eat some sushi and wear a kimono for a few days though. It goes way beyond that.

I have lived here for a long time, I have children to my Japanese wife. If my family want to come and visit, they would have to do so as tourists - they obviously cannot. Nor is it easy with the current border restrictions for me to travel internationally - I don't want to risk testing positive on the way back and getting stuck in a hotel for days on end with two small children. My parents have yet to meet their grandchildren in person.

Also, in my line of work, I should be travelling abroad to attend international conferences. Again, I can't do it - my employers will only allow work-related international travel for strictly unavoidable reasons. Attending conferences via zoom is possible, but it is simply no substitute for attending in person when it comes to making new connections with people. Our Japanese employees are similarly restricted.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I'm getting a lot of downvotes on here just explaining why Kishida is likely to be doing this and how expensive the consequences will be.

Japan will slowly vanish in the international consciousness and the RotW will fall back on stereotypes. Years of positive vlogging and 'cool Japan' engagement from Japanophiles will drain away. As other commenters have said, this is $46bn in foreign revenue being spent across a wide array of retail and commercial services. The loss of that will see businesses scale back or close. They will no longer be available to Japanese people as they relied on tourist revenue for adequate profitability.

Lots of Japanese workers are employed in the sector or in supporting it, some learning languages, taking exams and building a career on international tourism. I can't see them cheerfully switching to farm labouring. In a nation with such a high suicide rate, you have to worry about how this is impacting upon them.

Maybe this is a cynical election ploy, but reopening to normal tourism is like a Formula 1 start. SK really can clean up if they open up and Japan doesn't, fuelled by Kpop and streamed Kdrama. Other SE Asian countries have seen how SK and JP have generated huge revenues courtesy of YouTube and TikTok influencers. The market is rebooting and other countries will cheerfully scrap for Japan's share of it.

The consequential loss will be huge as the West 'consciously uncouples' from a Japan re-entering Sakoku 2.0.

And yes, the Monty Python reference is most apt.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Please choose between money and your life.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@ Nihon Tora.

I too live in Japan, a Japanese wife and child. We went back to Europe just when the omicron started for a holiday so I had to do the hotel quarantine when I came back, but it’s not as bad as people make it out to be. I plan to travel internationally privately at least 2 more times this year.

Also Japan has started allowing already first and second kinship to visit so your parents can come.

People in my company have also started to travel internationally for work without problem.

So for people who live in Japan and work here, I don’t see much difficulty at the moment. Only the annoyance of possible required tests and quarantine if testing positive.

I would encourage you to start living normally.

My comment was more on:

1) I still believe Japan should focus on domestic tourism as a base. As if to be honest international tourism is horrible for people living in Japan. I you appreciate what Japan used to be like before it opened up, you will understand.

2) And the fact that Japan should be able to do what it thinks is best for its people. Not be forced to do it because of reciprocity.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Lets be honest here, Japan is mostly trying to keep out unvaccinated, or poorly vaccinated Chinese, and given covid zero in China, there's no rush.

Like most things made in China, it is most apparent that the Chinese authorities themselves believe that their own vaccines just aren’t efficacious.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry - Japan is closed but hey look at the bright side, we'll come and visit!

And when Japanese travelers return to Japan, who is to say THEY are not infected and the cause of mayhem?!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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