national

Japan's top business lobby calls for border controls to be eased more

65 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

65 Comments
Login to comment

Tokura said he believes the real reasons behind the lack of easing are complicated immigration and tracing procedures for people entering Japan.

I wonder whether the government will ever halt the tracking of travelers entering the country. Perhaps it eventually will for citizens, but I sincerely doubt it will for non-citizens.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

Kishida doesn’t have to fret over the criticisms from both at home and abroad. Just follow the science. And the science says you can open the borders if people coming in are vaccinated and preferably boosted.

1 ( +15 / -14 )

Japan needs to do something quick. The Hotels in the countryside are in shatters and Ginza is seriously struggling. While it will take years as maybe forever to recover ! The Nation is on the verge of collapse and I would say even bankrupt! The debt it has amassed is unfathomable.

Open up for business! Get more vaccine. Be careful and put the Economy first!

5 ( +23 / -18 )

Japan cannot survive without foreign workers and tourism. The politicians know this but don’t want to admit it.

12 ( +30 / -18 )

The Hotels in the countryside are in shatters

There is plenty of domestic tourism as the people of Japan are no longer overran by foreigners.

> and Ginza is seriously struggling.

There will be no Chinese tourists for a long time, so Ginza won't be helped. They shouldn't have bet the farm on Chinese tourism. You know there is a problem when announcements at Ginza dept stores are first made in Mandarin before in Japanese.

> The Nation is on the verge of collapse and I would say even bankrupt! 

Sure...

-17 ( +12 / -29 )

Surely Kishida is now embarrassed. In the United Kingdom, they have a 95-year-old woman who is continuing to work even though she has Omicron, she has said she will only do light work but nonetheless, she is working.

If she is not scared of Omicron then no one should be.

Zoroto, Those tourists contribute to your infrastructure, a country where the population is in rapid decline needs money from somewhere in order to maintain the standards that you have become accustomed to. Japan's own business lobby is speaking out on this, the people who comment, foreigners or not, have the right to make comments as they choose. Whatever your gripe is with non-Japanese, you should remember that they contribute, when working in Japan as much as any Japanese person. As for the tourists they only give money they take nothing.

8 ( +21 / -13 )

"Japan cannot survive without foreign workers and tourism."

Certainly, the country would collapse without tourism.

"Before COVID-19, travel and tourism accounted for about two percent of Japan’s total GDP."

"https://www.statista.com/statistics/731610/domestic-and-foreign-tourism-contribution-to-gdp-japan/"

Tourism = 2% of Japan's GDP!!!

People talk without realising the absurdity of their statements.

-12 ( +9 / -21 )

Allow vaccinated travellers to skip quarantine altogether. The rest of the world is doing this.

16 ( +24 / -8 )

For once I agree with @Zoroto.

Domestic tourism is very very strong. Things ARE returning to normal. Restaurants are busy again, and guess what? We, as residents of Japan can actually get a reservation again - as the Chinese haven't either booked it and are being rude and obnoxious or NOT turning up to said reservation. Ginza? That was fueled by the bubble. Once Uniqlo opened there it was never gojng to be 'Ginza' again.

Yes, foreign workers are needed, and yes, the immigration process needs to be sped up further and bar some disastrous Covid variant taking hold almost certainly will after Golden Week.

@zichi: People will continue to buy Japanese products, always have, always will. Don't need to be In Japan to do that.

0 ( +12 / -12 )

Japan would certainly be okay without foreign tourism or even foreign workers in the short to mid term.

But I'm sure Japanese people would like to travel abroad with their hard earned money and paid time off. Some might even want to get a visa to work abroad. Foreign countries should start to reciprocate as it should be when it comes to foreign relations. Since it's all about the benefits of the Japanese people, they need to start to feel the repercussions to their xenophobic policies.

5 ( +15 / -10 )

@theResident

You could make a reservation before, you just had to make it before the Chinese people made one.

As for Japanese products, they are being outsourced to other places such as China, as a byproduct of globalization people look for cheapness rather than quality, which is why the Japanese bubble burst many years ago salaries have become stagnant, working I was increased, and eficiency has fallen. Abe had foresight to see that the economy needed supporting in other ways and moved towards tourism, pushing for the rugby world cup, Olympics and expo.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Do you mean Kishida the perfect should lose some approval ratings? :)

I don't think he is that type.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

International tourism is a mainstay of the countryside economy in Japan. without it the rapid population decline in country areas will only increase!

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

"There should be discussions as fast as possible about what it should be like under an endemic (rather than a pandemic)," he said

….

Japanese in government don’t do fast-those walls are up and won’t be down soon…

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Zoroto, Those tourists contribute to your infrastructure, a country where the population is in rapid decline needs money from somewhere in order to maintain the standards that you have become accustomed to. Japan's own business lobby is speaking out on this, the people who comment, foreigners or not, have the right to make comments as they choose. Whatever your gripe is with non-Japanese, you should remember that they contribute, when working in Japan as much as any Japanese person. As for the tourists they only give money they take nothing.

Tourist lower the quality of life for the locals. Overtourism has already ruined places like Venice and Angor Wat.

So it's not all benefits.

International tourism is a mainstay of the countryside economy in Japan. without it the rapid population decline in country areas will only increase!

Not even close. Other than the 4 hotspots (Tokyo/Hakone, Osaka, Kyoto and Fukuoka) international tourism is negligible.

>

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

@zoroto

As has already been mentioned, international tourism equates to 2% and domestic tourism 98% by definition, so the problem appears to be over tourism by other Japanese people ruining the lives of locals?

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Foreigners entering Japan are not at significantly higher risk of spreading the corona virus than anyone else currently residing in Japan.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Tourism will only be fully allowed once Japan can either:

be able to give PCR tests to every departing person (tourist, businessman, student, foreign resident) within the 24-72 window before departure, as per required by other countries;

or, all (or a large majority) of other countries stop requiring a pre-departure PCR test.

Over 100,000 people departed Japan PER DAY in 2019, mostly through Tokyo. At the height of the Omicron wave the maximum number of PCR tests Tokyo ever gave was about 30,000 a day (on this past Sunday, Tokyo did just 4,000 tests... but of course no people depart Japan on Mondays).

And even if they ramp up testing (yet, why haven't they done so already as we enter the 3rd year of this virus), the testing would need to be easily available for non-symptomatic foreigners who have no residence in Japan, no national health insurance, and do not speak or read Japanese.

And then, what if there is a positive test in one of these foreign tourists....

So until other countries stop requiring PCRs to enter, Japan will be limiting the number allowed to enter (which is their way of limiting the number allowed to depart).

So for tourism, at best anytime soon (2022, maybe even 2023), fully monitored and managed group tours with all the PCR tests scheduled and quarantine contingencies in place will be the only foreign tourists let in.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

People talk without realising the absurdity of their statements.

oh the irony. 2% of Japans GDP is 100 Billion USD. Do you really think local tourism can just absorb that? Or better yet maybe Japan can just raise taxes and call it even.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Tourism is for screwed up countries like France, Italy, Spain...

Look at Germany and see if they're begging for tourists. Japan doesn't need the tourism industry.

Domestic tourism is enough!

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

It's more than obvious given the policy of keeping foreign tourists out for what will be at least 3 years, that Japan sees it as completely acceptable. Only if other countries block Japanese from entering will this xenophobic dinasours do anything to reverse the current policy, as it is NOT based on any scientifc facts anymore.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10536349/Queen-95-issues-message-condolence-Brazil-170-died-flood-hit-city.html

Look and admire.....

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The tourism industry is being used by the CCP for economic domination..

At the end of the day Chinese companies financed by the CCP will own hotels, restaurants and everything else.

I hope Japan doesn't fall into this trap of the CCP.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

As nice as it has been to enjoy the ski fields without drunk, rich, immature Australian hordes, they are really struggling without that business. I stayed at a hotel minutes away from world renowned ski slopes just after new years and I'm pretty sure I was the only one on my floor. I doubt hotels and ski fields can survive much longer. Domestic tourism isn't enough because the average Japanese worker gets approximately one weekend off a decade.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

That's another way of saying, open the borders before we have to pay locals a living wage. It's very burdensome to have to abide to by labor standards laws. Under these circumstances the government is likely to budge.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"oh the irony. 2% of Japans GDP is 100 Billion USD. Do you really think loc"

The 2% figure is for both domestic (locals) and international tourists.

Internal tourism outweighs overseas tourists Read.

2% of GDP.

Don't know about your country,

Japan certainly CAN manage easily without those 100 billion.

Their total GDP and economic structure should tell you that, not me.

Oh, the irony...

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

"Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Thursday his government will relax in March Japan's border controls in the wake of criticism from business and academic circles at home and abroad."

Typical Japanese bureaucracy... it's not because the border controls make no sense and are racist, both of which are true, but because of criticism and how Japan looks in keeping them. And big business is right here; opening it up to an extra couple hundred a day is nonsense, and as I said, at that rate if every single person coming in were an exchange student it would still take almost four years to allow in the 150,000 promised seats in schools here.

Anyway, the horse is out of the barn, which has also long since burned down. I hope most investment and students have moved on to more welcoming places.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Japan would have difficulty just denying entry to Chinese.

Well, even pre-pandemic, Japan required visas for Chinese travelers. All they would need to do is to make the application more stringent and/or slow it down. But then again, just because the pandemic originated there 2 years ago, still fearing the Chinese also proves the allegations of xenophobia and unscientific border policy.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Chinese are the biggest international tourism that visit Japan. International feeling have change over the closure period. One wonders if those numbers of Chinese tourists will return post reopening. What extra financial burden will be imposed on hosting international tourism??? At least ski patrols won’t be recusing ski tourist until next season.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Zoroto

There will be no Chinese tourists for a long time, so Ginza won't be helped. They shouldn't have bet the farm on Chinese tourism. You know there is a problem when announcements at Ginza dept stores are first made in Mandarin before in Japanese.

There are two female foreigners in the picture. Looking at the clothing and mannerisms, I am very confident that they are Chinese. One of the women has her jacket hoody over her head and has her backpack in front for easy access and to prevent any pickpocketing or theft.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

How about letting our relatives in? They aren't tourists and shouldn't be treated in the same category.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

let me say there will round of meetings and statements and meetings again...as usual.

hardest part is to take firm decision and take a firm responsibility.

i see no reason to stop flowing people in as long as they are healthy and test upon arrival shows they are OK and not covid infected.Japan desperately need tourists,tourist money and sure many business travellers as well-opposite direction same situation.

no reason to annoy people for checking of vaccinated or not .dont do it in australian way "pack your bags and dont forget your money-but vaccinated only"...

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Japan already has no problem with manipulating how infection statistics are used to create false narratives. Use the testing to deny certain people from entering or to track their whereabouts. Ooops! There are already doing it.

China did it during the Olympics! I am pretty sure China made some athlete's test results came back positive simply for political reasons or because the competitor was too much of a threat for the Chinese team.

Japan does not care about their xenophobia decisions. They do not like that other countries know about their xenophobia behaviors.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Looking at the clothing and mannerisms, I am very confident that they are Chinese

Congrats that you can identify people from their clothing alone...

Even if they were Chinese, so what. It doesn't make them tourists.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

At the end of the day Chinese companies financed by the CCP will own hotels, restaurants and everything else.

I hope Japan doesn't fall into this trap of the CCP.

Almost too late for that. Quite a few of the ski resorts are being bought either fully or partially by Chinese companies.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The Japanese government hasn't tried to take a lead on anything throughout the pandemic. They will simply wait and see what happens elsewhere, make a decision based on that and then pretend they figured it out themselves. Basically everywhere else will open up and get back to normal months before we do here, perhaps with the exception of China and Hong Kong.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

5000 including residents and re-entry. 147000 students and 15000 dependents are waiting. Can't they consider 10000 entries per day?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

If the virus is going to stick around like the influenza, and science tell us that the vaccine can reduce the hospitalization and death rate to a minimum, then there's really no point in keeping the border shut except to please some isolationist. Look at Australia, they had one of the toughest border rules and now they are removing them because life needs to move on.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

finally got my ticket for booster shot after the cases started going down..

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

At this point I don't see the point of border closures, it failed in one of the most draconian versions and out of the way places NZ.

Vaccine and a test is at this point the best we can hope for.

Time to start facing facts unless we're going to stop all travel in and out of the country there's no point in just saying oh no foreigners and yes to our own people who are traveling to the same places as everybody else it makes no sense.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

that the government's decision to raise the cap on the daily number of new entrants from the current 3,500 to 5,000 starting next month is not enough.

This is not correct and there seems to be a confusion about that. The figure refers to the number of people entering Japan on a daily basis — Japanese nationals and foreign residents re-entering the country are included in the quota, as well as the new entries who will be allowed in from March. That’s why it’s considered to be ridiculously low.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

therougouToday  11:50 am JST

finally got my ticket for booster shot after the cases started going down

I was booked to get my shot tomorrow, but in the usual disorganised situation of our ward, it seems they "miscalculated" the number of Moderns doses and I got a call yesterday canceling my appointment as apparently the vaccination centre I am booked at ran out of vaccine.

So I am back to zero having to book a new appointment and no space until the 18 th of March and only Pfizer (fine with me).

This whole thing from the start, from testing, SOE, Border closure, vaccinations, Abenomasks, etc..has been one joke after another as if a schizophrenic was running the show.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Typical Japan. Wait till someone else makes a move, then the flood gates open. How about taking a stand and be vocal from the beginning for once?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

@therougou

finally got my ticket for booster shot after the cases started going down..

I had my ticket for a few weeks. I finally decided, and I got my booster last week. My appointment was only 4 days after the day (last week Monday) that I made the reservation online.

I had no problem making a reservation for Moderna. The location was 3 minutes from my place, and I was in and out in 30mins flat. Six of the 30 mins was me traveling to and from the location.

I chose last Friday, so I could spend Saturday and Sunday dealing with any side effects. I was mostly sleepy and sluggish. It was almost like a long hangover with a slight fever.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Allow vaccinated travellers to skip quarantine altogether.

I agree fully vaccinated , and negative PCR test on arrival, no need for the 3 day quarantine

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I chose last Friday, so I could spend Saturday and Sunday dealing with any side effects. I was mostly sleepy and sluggish. It was almost like a long hangover with a slight fever.

well done, the booster shot is only a half dose of the 2nd shot, so side effects will be far milder,

my side effect after the second Pfizer shot, was feeling average for about half a day, had a nap for a couple hrs felt 95% back to normal in the afternoon

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Apparently, neither the head of the business lobby or the 'journalist' responsible for the article bothered to read the latest report from the Japanese Institute for the Study of Infectious Diseases (NIID): Discharge criteria may lead to prolonged hospitalization and increase the burden on cases, medical facilities, as well as public health centers/institutions. And.  These findings suggest that vaccinated Omicron cases are unlikely to shed infectious virus 10 days after diagnosis or symptom onset. Note: that says V A C C I N A T E D.

Industrial tourism has been purposefully inflated the past several years prior to the arrival of SARSCoV-2. The increase in numbers was cultivated by Suga, when serving under Abe - concentrating on tourists from China. The increase was measured and purposeful, shifting the tenor of tourism from domestic to international with a dependency on China and East Asia. Prior to 2013, tourism was steady with manageable numbers, exhibiting a mean of 8.3 million foreign tourists per year. The number doubled in 2016 and saw an increase of five times in 2019. The result was 10 million Chinese tourists in 2019, the impacts of which are evident and detrimental to local culture. It also required a shift in the facilities and means of tourism. The construction of hotels owned by large international corporate entities. A proliferation of businesses catering to very narrow elements of shopping, especially discount stores and drug stores. It did not benefit local, independently owned business. It also resulted in the overcrowding of national treasures and historic sites.

Chinese tourists have increased tenfold since 2007, when the number was approximately 950,000.

Interestingly, Australian, European and American tourists spend more than Chinese and East Asian visitors. 500,000 Australians spent more in Japan than 10 million Chinese.

In 2019 there were 72 million domestic, Japanese tourists, spending almost 3 trillion yen. The intent of the central government, acting on behalf of its benefactors plying their trade aka industrial tourism is to bring 40 million foreign tourists to Japan, spending an equivalent amount. Such is not sustainable, nor particularly welcome by locals and natives.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I'm enjoying Tokyo like those years when I first arrived. No one peed on Ginza street, fortune box not shaken so loudly at Sensoji, public toilets were surely flushed after use.. etc etc. That's Tokyo I liked and decided to be a resident. Thank you Mr Kishida for being careful.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

There will be no Chinese tourists for a long time, so Ginza won't be helped.

Not sure why this was downvoted. Pre-pandemic, Japan was a veritable retail park for cashed up Chinese. Ginza for handbags, Osaka for electrical goods, and even the provinces have more pharmacies than conbini. The Chinese motto while in Japan is “Buy, buy, BUY!”.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

UdondashiToday  09:26 am JST

Tourism is for screwed up countries like France, Italy, Spain...

Look at Germany and see if they're begging for tourists. Japan doesn't need the tourism industry.

Domestic tourism is enough!

A comment and view made by someone that obviously has little knowledge of history or facts.

Ancient Egypt had tourism, so did Rome, China, medieval Europe, Victorian Europe,

Oh the type and even the name has changed.

They were once called pilgrimage, with souvenirs called sacred relics or charms.

Japan did the isolation thing for a few hundred years and during that time the rest of the world passed it by, China did the isolation thing and went from a major power to a backwater mess as the rest of the world passed it by also.

Domestic tourism is fine but with a shrinking population and more money existing the country all the time, just passing the money back and forth nothing new coming in is what the 1980s bubble was in the end and look how that ended.

International Tourism is one of the best ways to get money into a country while spending as little as possible importing things,

Chinese tourists in Akihabara weren't buying Chinese made rice cookers but the ones marked "made in Japan" same for the cameras, snacks, toys, etc... The tourists will pay more for locally made products.

I deal in antiques, despite the recent boom in the Chinese Antique market (and yes I do have some Chinese antiques) the Chinese tourists that came to me (before covid) were not interested in even my best Chinese pieces.

They wanted Japanese antiques, a lot of them even if they had little value it had to be made in Japan.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

All this talk and no action... no embassy has recieved any official information from Japan about these changes and is yet to be able to enact any of this because there is only talk!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@Numan

I was mostly sleepy and sluggish. It was almost like a long hangover with a slight fever.

……

Exactly what Omicron does to the body except that usually there is a sore throat with a slight cough too.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I bet nothing much changes with the borders this year.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

When this wave recedes it is time to open up. Visitors to Japan will most likely still have to show proof of double or triple vaccination and a negative test prior to departure, a test on entry, and another several days later.

They will not make any difference to infection rates except the later risk of new variants, and current strict conditions did not stop omicron getting in anyway.

Japanese people want to travel and Japan needs visitors while the situation is good between April and the next expected wavein summer. The country cannot stay closed for good-this is not the 17th century.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

AntiquesavingFeb. 22  02:58 pm JST

I deal in antiques, despite the recent boom in the Chinese Antique market (and yes I do have some Chinese antiques) the Chinese tourists that came to me (before covid) were not interested in even my best Chinese pieces.

They wanted Japanese antiques, a lot of them even if they had little value it had to be made in Japan.

Fascinating, however the point is Japan does need such trade in order to survive.

Obviously you do, and inded have probably had a lot of success peddling to the Chinese.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sorry my last post should have said Japan does not need such trade to survive.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites