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Japan should ease COVID border controls for foreigners: panel members

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Open up the darn border without any COVID restrictions ASAP!

31 ( +45 / -14 )

It's happening! Soon we will be back to normal.

-12 ( +15 / -27 )

“But the timeline of easing the regulations should be decided appropriately," he said, 

After the election in July when the LDP is safely ensconced for another 5 years…

8 ( +20 / -12 )

Thanks be to ghosh!

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Most excellent!

0 ( +10 / -10 )

"With the government having set a goal of doubling foreign direct investment in Japan to 80 trillion yen"

So far, Japan has been sending out all the wrong signals. This is not friendly place for foreign business!

11 ( +23 / -12 )

Too little too late is the cry I hear, People have already booked their summer holiday destination and therefore Japan will not be on the list. People will require assurances, that if they book they will be allowed in, and the border will not be closed, once again, at a minute's notice.

People have already lost thousands of pounds because of the crazy vouchers game that the airlines have been operating, they will not be prepared to lose such a figure once again.

Everyone should remember that not a single politician has suffered during this crisis They have been allowed to travel to meet to do whatever they like throughout. It is only the people who have suffered.

17 ( +32 / -15 )

private-sector members of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy said.

How many of their members really work for hotel and travel industries?

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

The government should relax its daily limit on foreign visitors and ease additional immigration procedures needed to enter Japan once such restrictions are confirmed less effective in curbing infection cases, private-sector members of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy said.

Then again if their interest is purel economic that is the only thing they can say.

I mean, they could be completely right, but this judgment needs to include people that see the other side of the coin and can say the risks do not increase importantly by doing it.

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

So far, Japan has been sending out all the wrong signals. This is not friendly place for foreign business!

Exactly! Start your business in Japan and see that your hires and executives abroad get stuck outside the borders for years on the whims of government officials acting on satisfying their xenophobic base.

7 ( +21 / -14 )

Hopefully everything else can go back to normal asap but I'm still amazed at the people who both call for lockdowns because "the pandemic isn't finished" and demand the border be reopened!

7 ( +12 / -5 )

We all know, that then the numbers of cases will increase here in Japan and of course the foreigners will be blamed for that.

So to everyone who support to ease border controls;

Don't start to whine when numbers will increase and foreigners will be blamed for that.

-19 ( +7 / -26 )

The main thing they need to do is change the procedure once you arrive in Japan since instead of prevention it exposes anyone who arrives to COVID 19...for me when I arrived it took 4 hours in line with hundreds of people handing paperwork to 20 different people, them checking and handing back so thus exposing me to every single person ahead of me that day. I ended up with COVID 2 days later because of it! Just do a test within 24 hours before boarding a flight and that should be it other than normal immigration checks.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Then again if their interest is purel economic that is the only thing they can say.

Most of the time I agree with you but now it is time to stop.

Explain where the money is going to come from to funds medical research, hospital care, etc...if a large portion of society are out of work and bankrupt.

I have lived in North East Tokyo for over 30 years, I would spend a lot of time in Asakusa as I had/have a lot of friends and clients there.

In 30 years I can honestly say I have never seen the number of ground floor vacancies and for rents as businesses there closed one after another, leaving only deep pocket chain stores and restaurants.

No one is will to open new businesses for fear of another closure.

I had a major heart attack in November, I am high risk I am fully vaccinated, I cannot continue with 10% of the pre covid business I have now.

Asakusa isn't even the worst place suffering.

With the precautions in place now it is time to move on.

17 ( +22 / -5 )

OPEN the flood gates, no more restrictions, let's have the summer we all deserve

14 ( +20 / -6 )

I think Japan should open up.

58% of general population and 75% of children in the US had COVID according to the latest CDC antibody study, so the US doesn't have COVID spikes anymore and things are going back to being usual.

Given how widespread COVID outbreak was in Japan, most Japanese should have been infected with COVID by now like the US.

-1 ( +12 / -13 )

Soon we will be back to normal.

What is normal?

8 ( +11 / -3 )

"But the timeline of easing the regulations should be decided appropriately," he said, adding that prospects of the coronavirus pandemic remain unpredictable.

Which means the borders remain the way they are until after the elections.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

What is normal?

No covid border checks.

No quarantine.

No masks

No alcohol hand gel.

Never hearing the word 'quasi' used again.

22 ( +29 / -7 )

Meh, I'll believe it when I'll see it.

6 ( +15 / -9 )

After the election in July when the LDP is safely ensconced for another 5 years…

Indeed. The “leaders” of Japan, are always so predictable and transparent.

1 ( +13 / -12 )

This is 100% political, and most people who understand this matter know that any real ease of borders will happen only AFTER the elections.

5 ( +17 / -12 )

As soon as japanese people still wear mask everywhere, riding bicycle, walking alone in the middle of nowhere, in the car ……….and here in Nagoya 100% do that……….tourists are completely not compatible whit this way of living so for sure after 1 month from opening borders they will be banned again because of a random spike of infection accusing the “ no mask gaijin animal “

5 ( +22 / -17 )

the last thing japanese people are waiting is hordes of fat,screaming,no mask foreigners walking around the now became paradise japanese cities. Just imagine the national fear, the tragedy. the disaster when the first gaijin tourist will show a positive PCR tests after having had a day walking around temples. restaurants, hotel in Kyoto !!!!!!!

-13 ( +10 / -23 )

No covid border checks.

No quarantine.

No masks

No alcohol hand gel.

Never hearing the word 'quasi' used again.

I quasi-agree with you Joe.....except....you don't NEED to wear a face mask now and you don't NEED to use the hand gel.

I think at the very most a vaccination check at the border.....if you have had the vaccines, great you can walk right through. If not then a pcr test before your flight and you wait in line filling in forms for 3 hours when you land.

-12 ( +5 / -17 )

let's have the summer we all deserve

You'd have to be crazy to come to Japan during summer.

10 ( +19 / -9 )

majority of people/incl foreigners living in Japan/want live FREE,travel FREE and enjoy FREEDOM.

travel free i mean without any covid restrictions like tasting,vaccination passports ,quarantines and list goes on.

you want travel say to Dubai,you buy ticket and you fly.

as normal.as free person.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

I'm all for this, but... Have you traveled through Haneda or Narita from an international trip recently?? It's going to take a while to untangle that bureaucratic mess.

Plus, most Japanese still want the border closed to tourists. I wonder if they're even aware that Kyoto is on the brink of bankruptcy.

5 ( +15 / -10 )

If the Japanese government were not changing the rules every time a passenger arrives in an airport in Japan then at least we would know up from down-we don’t!

The lack of direction about 1,2,3 or four vaccinations, the PCR tests, before and on arrival, the useless forms that mean nothing, the instructions to wear a mask in your room after three negative tests, the vague rules, the app monitoring and so on.

The bottom line is that the coronavirus is rampant in Japan and that intimating foreigners will bring in something different that is already here is absolutely ridiculous!

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

I guess most Japanese as many here claim still want boarders closed aren't owners of businesses.

Look at the areas where the money is made, ask the business owners.

Walk down my shotengai and people going "hello" "foreigners OK please please come" in 30 years never seen that, they need business

13 ( +18 / -5 )

Yes, it will happen, not because they want tourism or foreigners back, but just because the economy is collapsing.

My bet is, that when the Japanese Yen will reach 145-150 yen per USD then they will quickly give up on all restrictions.

Mark my words.

1 ( +16 / -15 )

Pandemic is over in the U.S. according to Fauci. What the heck is going on in Japan? I can't imagine it is any worse than the U.S.

Japanese economy will suffer for many years to come due to lack of investment and tourists.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

As long as the entry procedures remain as now. - PCR test and various forms, apps, before flight and test on arrival followed by possible quarantine unless you are triple vaccinated and depending on what country you are arriving from, what tourist of right mind would want to come anyhow, when other countries have none, or at least a lot less, of this rubbish. Anyhow the airport can’t handle many more arrivals because of the limitations on how many tests on arrival they can process. Look at Thailand which for months has been allowing tourists in ( one step ahead of Japan) but with crazy test and quarantine requirements which resulted in few real tourist arriving and now finally scrapping most of their nonsense from next month.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Funny. I would guess a lot of the posters here are not actually living in Japan. Absolutely none of the Japanese people I come in contact with here are excited about opening the borders to hordes of foreigners. Some comments told directly to me:

“they won’t be able to follow the rules”

“I’m afraid foreigners will refuse to wear masks”

“covid will increase”

“I don’t want Kyoto to become so crowded again”

“it’s been so nice traveling without crowds in Japan”

“look at the number of Covid cases abroad compared to Japan”

“shogainai”

-12 ( +10 / -22 )

There's enough covid here anyway. That's not anyone's fault, though specifically it has nothing to do with foreign people.

Open the borders, and try to be a bit more since in your actions, Japan.

On the surface it just looks like they're considering opening the borders because Japan NEEDS tourists.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

For those who do not live in Japan and are hoping to come when the borders are open fully, I think the main mindset of Japanese people is that foreigners are welcome as long as they try to follow the way of life here.

Remember Japan has NEVER, throughout this pandemic, imposed government mask mandates or lockdowns, only requests. These requests have been followed dutifully by the vast vast majority of those living in Japan. It is credited with keeping Covid cases low compared to those of the US and Europe, taking into account population size.

When the borders open, people shouldn’t expect to be able to come to Japan maskless and not be met with some distain.

Some people have commented to me that before Covid, they found Chinese tour groups to be irritating due to their loudness and pushiness. Ironically they expect post Covid Chinese tour groups to be much better, regarding Covid policies such as masking, than US or European visitors.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

This sounds great they are seriously considering opening up fully to tourists.

There's no going back to normal for anyone after covid pandemic.

moving forward would be good

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Things are starting to change inside Japan. Other than a few mandatory stay home periods, I have been going the office daily. I used to see between 0 and 1 person per week without a mask on the train. Now I’m seeing 4 or 5 every day. I’m not even talking about having it pulled down to their chin; it’s not there at all. And that just the train…many more people are removing the masks while walking out doors. It’s getting hotter and more humid; so…

11 ( +12 / -1 )

qazwsxToday  10:38 am JST

Been living in Japan for over 30 years, live in shitamachi Tokyo, most here are just fine with tourists especially those that buy from their businesses.

I think perhaps you need a new set of Japanese acquaintances.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Question to mask fans - if the majority of people around you weren’t wearing a mask, would you still wear a mask? If so, no problem. If not though, then the reason for wearing a mask now is surely just based on social pressure / virtue signaling rather than your own view of the risk.

0 ( +11 / -11 )

“it’s been so nice traveling without crowds in Japan”

You know what isn't so nice, no crowds because the businesses are closed and bankrupt.

Some people have commented to me that before Covid, they found Chinese tour groups to be irritating due to their loudness and pushiness.

You do realise that these crowds and Chinese are what was paying for those Japanese businesses to remain open and make money?

Take a little walk through Asakusa count the number of closed businesses.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

@qazwsx

There's crowds of Japanese travelers now !

What's the difference.

People are People.

xenophobia prejudice

Is bigoted and a contradiction.

You can't assume to know what the majority of the Japanese population want or feels unless you actually personally know them all which is realistically impossible.

There's nice people and not nice people regardless of race beliefs or gender.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Monty

We all know, that then the numbers of cases will increase here in Japan and of course the foreigners will be blamed for that.

So to everyone who support to ease border controls;

Don't start to whine when numbers will increase and foreigners will be blamed for that.

I don't see how that would happen. The last two years have shown that the numbers will rise and fall periodically, regardless of whether or not "foreigners" are allowed in. If the case numbers rise some time after opening the borders, they were always going to do that.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

"But the timeline of easing the regulations should be decided appropriately,"

Yeah. It should be perfectly timed so that when cases started going up again, we can blame the foreigners.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

The gov needs to lift that PCR test at the arrival airport requirement if they plan to allow in tourists. If not, you're bound to have riots on your hands from the visitors stuck at Narita or whichever airport for four or more hours just waiting for their PCR result. And as for that quarantine upon reaching the arrival area...

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The sooner the better. Travel restrictions need to go the way of all of the other practically useless measures that were supposed to prevent/manage the virus. and didn't do a good job of it.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

It's not reason and evidence that's stopping the government from opening the borders, it's the morbid fear of taking responsibility. If Kishida declares the borders open and cases do rise or people claim they "don't feel safe," whatever that might mean, someone will have to take responsibility. Nobody here wants to do that, so expect a few more months of dithering while people needlessly suffer as the economy sputters along.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Don't care either way.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

The Yen has collapsed further this morning, now on the cusp of 130 yen to the dollar, with 150 yen to come very soon. Now is the time surely to open the borders to tourists who want to visit, so they can take advantage of bargain basement, dirt cheap Japan. They will spend spend spend on the ultra cheap goods available here with the collapsed Yen.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

This is the classic reason, its symptomatic in the way the country functions, led by those people running the country. The reason why, the country is stuck in this economic doldrum for the last 30/40 years. The people running the country think the world today, still work/function like it did 30/40 years ago. What is required , the young people today, need to step up/in, take over the politics. Remove the hereditary political position that is in place today. And change the way the country work/operate, otherwise, you come back in 30 years, you will still not see any change, and everyone will still be talking about the same thing, as we do today.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Just open up without restrictions already like the UK, as much as I have enjoyed the country without the loud and obnoxious foreign tourists for the past couple of years. It was a really sad sight seeing Kyoto's Sannenzaka empty with the shops barely surviving out of local tourism.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Visitors are limited to business people, technical interns and students. The ban on tourists remains.

Tourists spend money and help the economy. Business people, tech interns and students only come here to take our money back to their own countries. Vaccines don’t prevent spread and infection, but tourist should have a test before and after arriving, 3 day quarantine and after a third test, go out eating, shopping and enjoying this wonderful country.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Yes indeed over 130 yen to the dollar with the forecast of 150 sometime during May. What the hell is the J government waiting for. A currency in freefall and tourists not allowed to scoop up all the extremely cheap goods and services to be found in Japan? Senseless!.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Tourists spend money and help the economy. Business people, tech interns and students only come here to take our money back to their own countries. Vaccines don’t prevent spread and infection, but tourist should have a test before and after arriving, 3 day quarantine and after a third test, go out eating, shopping and enjoying this wonderful country.

If tourists have to spend 3 days of their vacation in quarantine they will not come. Japan will need to scrap quarantine if they want tourists to come. A test before flying is reasonable, but a quarantine won’t work. All others countries have scrapped this because they realised. Good luck Japan.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

You mean the holiday I paid for at the end of 2019 might actually go ahead? Fingers crossed for the end of October.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I've been wanting to return to Japan for what would be my 8th 6-week visit since 2011. But, if they stick with the testing nonsense at airports and insist I spend three days in quarantine, I'll go somewhere else. Just like I did in February and March of this year.

And don't believe that crap about Japanese people hating tourists. That certainly is not the case with the Japanese families and friends I enjoy spending time with. The small business closures are tragic, but that is a circumstance forced upon those small business owners by the Japanese government.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I doubt anything will change soon. The country is full of old folks who don't want foreigners in and they all vote. The rural ones' votes carry more weight, and even though most of them wouldn't have to see with the foreigners anyway, they will punish politicians at the polls if the restrictions are eased. Japanese politicians know better than to anger them.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

TrevorPeace

I've been wanting to return to Japan for what would be my 8th 6-week visit since 2011. But, if they stick with the testing nonsense at airports and insist I spend three days in quarantine, I'll go somewhere else. Just like I did in February and March of this year.

To be honest since my holidays are normally 3 weeks in Japan I could sacrifice three days... that'll still give me more than 2 weeks to meet friends and go places. I don't even mind wearing a mask.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The opening will happen soon tourism is big business in Japan. Money talks at Yens loss!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Open it up!

japan is bankrupt. The Hotels need you! The shopping Malls need you the Restaurants etc

covid isn’t going away deal with it! And get the Economy rolling!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan should open, think about Japanese people with business!

Here in Montréal, businesses have suffered from lockdowns, curfews etc. And are still in bad shape too, I wish I could travel this summer but I am one of those who can’t get out of Canada. :(

catégoriser les humains, c’est bien triste.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It has been reported that a new variant has been found in the north east of Japan-homegrown mutating viruses?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Some form of normality sure, but over tourism was killing this already over crowded country.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wearing a mask in even slight humidity is wearing.

May is a good month on Honshu but as June comes the humidity and heat skyrockets.

I can’t see Europeans not Americans wearing masks and not being able to take a breath.

The Chinese don’t mind though.

Inbound tourism from western countries is dead this year for Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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