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Gov't confirms it will start accepting some foreign tourists in June

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Very good! About time!

19 ( +27 / -8 )

Encouraging but still way to slow. Wish they had done this last month before both JAL and Qantas cancelled all direct flights until September from Australia.

22 ( +28 / -6 )

It’s the testing before and on arrival that’s bothering everyone, especially possible tourists.

Vaccinated with a booster (3 jabs) should be enough, don’t you think?

28 ( +37 / -9 )

This still hasn't given us a clue of how entry procedures will conducted. The airports do not have capacity for test on arrival. Could we have more details for the next article please?

17 ( +20 / -3 )

During the trial phase, small groups of foreigners would visit sightseeing spots based on fixed itineraries in order for the government to see whether it can grasp their movements and how to respond if a COVID-19 case is detected, according to the source.

Great! It'll be just like visiting North Korea!

28 ( +47 / -19 )

Calm down....

Look at the article, firstly, it will be tour groups on a pre-set itinerary, from that they will do an assessment, then decide over the coming MONTHS.

This is not going to happen quickly, Prime Minister Dither will seek the medical advice that appears to differ from the outside world, they will then make an announcement as to the future.

Seriously, who is going to book a flight when last year Dither closed the border 2 weeks after opening it, would you?

They have set back tourism more then 20 years, without a huge package of support to foreign people, this will not meet the 2030 target, the long term economic strategy of Japan is failing, rising prices, poor rate of Yen, lack of investment, lack of inbound tourism has created a paria state that the outside world could only hope to impose on Russia.

So to the doom mongers in Japan....smell the coffe....your lifestyle will have to change, because its what you wanted.

12 ( +32 / -20 )

small groups of foreigners would visit sightseeing spots based on fixed itineraries 

Sounds like North Korea.

17 ( +36 / -19 )

Not ideal but a beginning none the less

16 ( +22 / -6 )

BigPToday  06:55 am JST

It’s the testing before and on arrival that’s bothering everyone, especially possible tourists. 

Vaccinated with a booster (3 jabs) should be enough, don’t you think?

Planning to go back to UK next month to finally see my parents again. The 72 hour test before flight is the first thing I would like to see stopped. A local health centre can do the test, but concerns if they can get the sign doctors form to me in time. So have to get to Heathrow a couple of days early to get tested.

Also if your flight is delayed more the 24 hours, the 72 hour test is invalid and have to start the process again.

Maybe a little off topic, the prices to travel from Japan to UK are around ¥150,000 more than travelling UK to Japan. This is In economy, I was shocked at the difference on the same route and times.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Maybe a little off topic, the prices to travel from Japan to UK are around ¥150,000 more than travelling UK to Japan. This is In economy, I was shocked at the difference on the same route and times.

Simply greed from this side. As with everything Coronavirus related, Japan just doesn't understand reciprocity. At all

3 ( +21 / -18 )

This decision will cost the LDP votes at upcoming elections. It seems the majority of Japanese support the ongoing closure of their borders to the foreigner tourists indefinitely. The coronavirus cannot be allowed to spread again.

-36 ( +5 / -41 )

遅いな!

Don’t tell me that three years in you still have no idea what to do if a tourist has Corona.

You need till June apparantly to think about it?

Just come out and say that you are withholding tourism because lockdowns from Omicron were tough to take.

-2 ( +18 / -20 )

It seems the majority of Japanese support the ongoing closure of their borders to the foreigner tourists indefinitely. The coronavirus cannot be allowed to spread again.

But it's ok for Japanese people to travel abroad and spread covid? It's ok for Japanese people to come back to Japan, and again spread covid?

There's the reciprocity...sigh

9 ( +32 / -23 )

@Phil

No test needed for entry to the UK.

In fact, all you need is your passport.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

@phil

Please see this,m my understanding for travel back to the UK is nothing is required

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-to-england-from-another-country-during-coronavirus-covid-19

The UK stopped being hostage to non vaccinators and the medical advice they received was the same as 5 other is the G7, it would appear 1 medical body does not like foreigners....

@thomas Goodtime, well said, Japanese people have some immunity that they cannot catch covid abroad they can only catch it in Japan, from a non Japanese after 8pm......whichever bucknut thought of that policy should be condemed.

I wonder how many have booked a group travel slot since the announcement, maybe no more than 10, despite the arrogance of this country, others dont wait for PM Ditherishida to make announcements and plan a holiday in advance.....

-5 ( +12 / -17 )

@ tamanegi

I spent most of last year in the UK where I failed to contract the virus.

Back to Japan for a month in December 2021, on a night out with friends, I got infected in Japan.

Its the foreign tourists in Japan that have to worry -not the Japanese…

1 ( +21 / -20 )

Great! It'll be just like visiting North Korea!

Exactly!

"Don't leave your room at night!"

"Don't take pictures here!"

"Don't make eye contact with the Japanese people!"

-1 ( +18 / -19 )

They are going to drag out this process for months and then have a committee to review and bla bla why is everything so slow with JGov

-1 ( +17 / -18 )

But it's ok for Japanese people to travel abroad and spread covid? It's ok for Japanese people to come back to Japan, and again spread covid?

Binary thinking is that it must be either everyone or no-one. Your comment clearly indicates you think it should be on or the other. Very binary.

-16 ( +5 / -21 )

Binary..

That's a new word for my vocabulary @strangerland

Thank you!

I don't agree with you of course.

-11 ( +10 / -21 )

North Korean style tours are not 'on par with other Group of Seven nations'. Only politicians can say things like that with a straight face. They must train for it.

Those tours are the sort of thing Chinese tourists generally plumped for, following someone with a flag. But there aren't any Chinese tourists any more. I did warn you - we have progressed from being 'tourist pollution' to a contaminant. Japan may be permanently off the tourist map.

Cheer up. Asia is a big place. If SK opens up any time this year you can live the Kdrama. Netflix has ramped up interest there, and the BTS army are desperate to return. If not, there are a raft of other countries dusting down the welcome mats, offering to scoop up our cash. Go see some sub/tropical rainforest whilst you still can. With global food supply chains breaking down, it'll all be farmland soon.

-10 ( +10 / -20 )

During the trial phase, small groups of foreigners would visit sightseeing spots based on fixed itineraries in order for the government to see whether it can grasp their movements.

Will they confiscate passports and blast propaganda as well?

Wait, no that’s North Korea. Or is it Japan?

-7 ( +12 / -19 )

Y’all been whining about “opening the borders” “moving on” “ learning to live with Covid” Congrats !!! The borders are opening to foreign tourists. I think the jgov should impose the limits and rules that they are planning on domestic foreigners 1st. Luckily, Kishida is going to make sound decisions based on actual scientific data starting in Japan and then from countries around the world. This PANDEMIC is no where near over .

-18 ( +8 / -26 )

"But he also aired concern over new variants being brought in from abroad and said that depending on the situation, the government should "be bold and consider suspending new arrivals."

Nah, if they were concerned about this, they would tell Japanese returning to Japan to quarantine -- not at home after going there on public transport, shopping, and going out to eat with friends, but straight from the arrivals doors of the airport. All the variants have been brought in by Japanese... who were, by the way, allowed to enter other countries despite those other countries' citizens banned from entering Japan.

-3 ( +17 / -20 )

I used to expect sales from inbound tourists on weekdays. I've waited and waited for this," he said.

But he also aired concern over new variants being brought in from abroad and said that depending on the situation, the government should "be bold and consider suspending new arrivals."

can’t have it both ways.

that’s a flip flop. A contradiction

we have enough of that from the government

-3 ( +11 / -14 )

Pyongyang style tourism?

-9 ( +11 / -20 )

Unless Japan gets rid of the ridiculous test on arrival and blanket mask requirements western tourists will look elsewhere. Hopefully they will come to their senses soon similar to other advanced nations.

8 ( +20 / -12 )

This PANDEMIC is no where near over .

In the sense that there are still many cases, then yes, it isn't over, nor will it be for the foreseeable future.

In the sense that we have already built up sufficient immunity to serious disease through vaccination plus now a significant percentage of the world population having being exposed to the virus so that the disease presents no more threat to the average person than the seasonal flu - sorry, but it was over months ago.

BTW, I see the mods removed my previous post in this thread because it was "vulgar/offensive". All I can say is, I've seen worse on here - it seems to me that I just have the wrong opinion. What is vulgar and offensive to me is the way that the Japanese government, with full support of many of the Japanese population continue with these ridiculous rules targeted at foreigners, but not Japanese people and that are rooted more in xenophobia rather than scientific consensus.

-4 ( +16 / -20 )

Yes I think overseas tourist can't wait to get on organised tour bus with obachyan or ojiisan being a tour guide.

I remember when I came to Japan I just wanted to meet kawaii Japanese girls

4 ( +17 / -13 )

Let’s see….. hmmm…. For months or even a couple of years now …. Some of you have been blasting some of us because we thought the jgov should use some harsher restrictions…. Even a lockdown…. Many of you have said “move to China.” Kishida now is going to start to slowly and deliberately open the borders to international tourists…. Which is a huge change from the borders being airtight…. Yet now you’re calling him a dictator…. Just WOW…. If Japan opened the borders completely tomorrow with only these 3 requirements… 1) wear a mask in the airport 2) temp check 3) wash your hands upon entering the country…. You’d still whine about all the draconian restrictions….

-4 ( +16 / -20 )

BTW, I see the mods removed my previous post in this thread because it was "vulgar/offensive". All I can say is, I've seen worse on here -

same here

it seems to me that I just have the wrong opinion. What is vulgar and offensive to me is the way that the Japanese government, with full support of many of the Japanese population continue with these ridiculous rules targeted at foreigners, but not Japanese people and that are rooted more in xenophobia rather than scientific consensus.

agree

-9 ( +11 / -20 )

It’s just pathetic. What to do if they find a COVID case in a foreigner? For the last 3 months there have been 50000 cases domestically every day. And that’s only positive tests - the real figure is likely to be five to ten times that number. If you have had cold or flu symptoms this last few months, probably a good chance it was COVID - especially if you felt unusually fatigued. Realistically, more like 250000-500000 cases every day for the last 3 months. If you are prone to it, you are almost certainly going to get COVID if you haven’t already, probably multiple times. Just open the border already, no testing, no quarantine, no vaccine requirements, this thing is over.

4 ( +14 / -10 )

Sounds way too complicated and the focus on tourists possibly bringing in COVID is backwards. Japan should instead focus on having a healthy, vaccinated population, and access to highly effective therapeutics.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Just open the border already, no testing, no quarantine, no vaccine requirements, this thing is over.

No can do , first the expert panel no.1673 needs to be convened to study and discuss the definition of a " foreign tourist". Will take 6months at the earliest.

-5 ( +11 / -16 )

Japan will resume accepting foreign tourists in june at the earliest

The government may accept a limited number of group tours on a trial basis by the end of may

Well...exuse me for pointing out that - " the end of MAY isnt in JUNE at the earliest " !

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Unless Japan gets rid of the ridiculous test on arrival and blanket mask requirements western tourists will look elsewhere. Hopefully they will come to their senses soon similar to other advanced nations.

Similar to advanced nations. Don't need the 'other' anymore.

-11 ( +5 / -16 )

2023 would be better!

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

I‘m not surprised.

After WWII Japan was somehow forced to open up. That’s history. Corona finally came to take their country back. Don’t misunderstand me, I traveled to Japan many years, for business and tourism. As a gajin from Switzerland I‘m obviously not welcome. But I received a warm welcome in Thailand, Mexico, all EU, USA. No booster, no masks. no mandatory guided tours. I‘m not crazy, I stay where I feel welcome.

-9 ( +10 / -19 )

The trial phase and set itinerary is to test the AI facial recognition system.

Naturally Japan assumes that new variants will only come from foreign tourists.

Vaccine and boosters a double standard .

This announcement isn't condusive to foreign tourists ticket purchases in advance to find a reasonable priced ticket.

Realistically (depending on Japan's flip flop decisions methods ), foreign tourists will be more likely to start coming in August and September.

Ahead of the higly anticipated move

Unfortunately for Japan's economy- interest of foreign tourists perhaps isn't as highly anticipated as they would like to believe.

Nonetheless it sounds good that Japan is opening up to tourists again.

Even if they are tracking them like farm animals from the 1984 George Orwell novel.

-14 ( +3 / -17 )

Do they really imagine Tourists are so desperate to come to Japan that hordes will be lining up for these controlled fixed itinerary tours to limited places. Prebooked package tours required along with the pre flight test and other COVID entry required forms ( all at extra cost of course) and the mandatory test on arrival of course. Will they segregate from the Japanese tourists and in special sections of hotels? Will they confiscate passports so tourist cannot escape their itinerary. And what about mask wearing? Perhaps a signed pledge to wear them will be necessary? It might work for Chinese tourists but they will not be coming with their countries COVID policy unless they have another 3 weeks to spare for their quarantine on return

-3 ( +10 / -13 )

Obviously the tourism sector needs the boost and won't argue against any lifting of restrictions but I really liked Japan without tourists to be honest..

Kyoto became a livable and enjoyable place over the past two years. Might fit in another trip before the great horde returns.

-16 ( +2 / -18 )

If Japan opened the borders completely tomorrow with only these 3 requirements… 1) wear a mask in the airport 2) temp check 3) wash your hands upon entering the country…. You’d still whine about all the draconian restrictions….

Nope. My family would be free to visit, I would be able to travel abroad with no real hinderance, so if they did this I would be delighted and even though I would still consider such measures superfluous, I wouldn’t complain at all!

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

Let's face the facts. It is about politics. Kishida is more concerned with his political future- bottom line.

Being led around by a flag waving robot? I think not. Not every tourist travelling independently is loud, rude and disrespectful towards Japanese customs and culture. (so just ban the Chinese and Americans!)

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

If I remember correctly, last year Thailand floated the idea of travellers being allowed into the country if they were in fixed tour groups that only went to certain places at certain times etc. Needless to say, the plan was a non starter and nobody bothered with it and the plan was scrapped. Even now with tourists allowed free entry back in the recovery is slow, particularly given China is on perpetual lockdown.

Furthermore the insinuation is once again that tourists will somehow spread covid whereas Japanese citizens can come back home and do what they want and it’s not as much of a risk. But I’m never surprised these days sigh…

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

During the trial phase, small groups of foreigners would visit sightseeing spots based on fixed itineraries in order for the government to see whether it can grasp their movements and how to respond if a COVID-19 case is detected, according to the source.

Is this a joke? I suppose if anyone wanders off under such a scenario they'll be jailed and deported. This isn't "tourism," it's embarrassing and unnecessary fascism rooted yet again in racism and xenophobia.

-9 ( +9 / -18 )

What a joke. Absolute bull. Nobody is going to pay several thousands of dollars for the privilege of not even being allowed to walk down the street unsupervised. I’ve been waiting years for things to change, but there’s no way in hell I’d ever travel under those conditions and I can’t imagine anybody else being willing to either.

UK it is, then.

-10 ( +8 / -18 )

If I were a store owner or a business owner that relied on tourism, I'd be pretty pissed off at this government. I see more and more bankruptcies monthly when I go into the big cities.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Sorry no one wants to spend their hard earned cash on a holiday where you will be monitored and told where you can can’t go, ridiculous either open or don’t , stop fapping about .

0 ( +9 / -9 )

During the trial phase, small groups of foreigners would visit sightseeing spots based on fixed itineraries in order for the government to see whether it can grasp their movements and how to respond if a COVID-19 case is detected, according to the source.

The government will also consider requiring that participants have already had booster vaccine shots before the tours.

Well the fixed itinerary likely won't go over well with most tourists. Only the tourists that haven't visited Japan before and want a fixed itinerary will perhaps be interested in that. Tourists that have been to Japan already and know their way around Japan will not go for that.

Also, the required vaccines/boosters might not go over well with many tourists as we have seen the cases/deaths are the same or higher in most countries since the vaccines have been implemented. The vaccines just are not working. Still don't understand why countries are requiring them.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Nah, if they were concerned about this, they would tell Japanese returning to Japan to quarantine -- not at home after going there on public transport, shopping, and going out to eat with friends, but straight from the arrivals doors of the airport. All the variants have been brought in by Japanese... who were, by the way, allowed to enter other countries despite those other countries' citizens banned from entering Japan.

Nail on head, @smith

Double standards here are shameless.

-12 ( +6 / -18 )

They tried this restrictive approach in Thailand...in short, didn't work.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Seriously, how long are they going to make people get vaccinated, boosted, tested, masked? If you haven't been vaccinated by now, you probably have had Covid and thus the antibodies. AND, unless you are over 70 years old, you have a snowball's chance of ending up in the hospital, but even in that rare case, who cares?!

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

I was kinda got used to less people

Guess it can't be helped

Let's see if the border restrictions are really misplaced

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

VIP tours like in Bhutan or is this the hint before they open the flood gates

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Gov't confirms it will start accepting some foreign tourists in June

By June most tourists will have booked to go elsewhere.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

Next year is looking like better bet for travel to Japan. I hope?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Japanese tourists should be banned from all countries unless FULL reciprocation is given. Full stop. See how they like it.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Kyoto became a livable and enjoyable place over the past two years. Might fit in another trip before the great horde returns.

I don't think that hordes will return.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Tourists will be treated as potential covid spreaders and pariahs because they don’t follow the absurd masking etiquette in Japan, which sees every citizen muzzled in their cozy safety net of fake protection and group dogma.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

I'm thankful Japan has taken a careful approach to covid. It's one of the reasons covid deaths have been so low. I'm ok with them keeping the borders closed until next month. Anyone complaining is a whiner who needs to become Japanese so they can vote, or quit whining like little girls.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Anyone complaining is a whiner who needs to become Japanese so they can vote, or quit whining like little girls.

Nah, I doubt anyone would want to ‘become’ Japanese, whatever that means. As long as democratic values exist then people are free to ‘whine’ in whatever way they like. Or do you have a problem with that?

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Seriously, how long are they going to make people get vaccinated, boosted, tested, masked? If you haven't been vaccinated by now, you probably have had Covid and thus the antibodies. AND, unless you are over 70 years old, you have a snowball's chance of ending up in the hospital, but even in that rare case, who cares?

Finally, some common sense.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I'm ok with them keeping the borders closed until next month.

Yeah, what do you care since you are not Japanese and an owner of a business that relies on the tourism business.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Tourists should not come. Well said Steve! All nations should reciprocate to Japan, in all policies, since they never do. Perhaps that would would make them think twice about discriminating against people. Their xenophobia has irreparably taken roots and tourists should avoid such an unwelcoming place. It’s the new omote’nashi’, I mean nashi! Sure tourists can’t wait to put their masks back on to come and be patronized around by people who still believe they are better :)

Kishida, stay where you are, do us a favour, Corona has shown what Japanese are really made of.

No more hiding behind fake smiles mate !

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

I doubt anyone would want to ‘become’ Japanese, whatever that means.

Oh, I clearly gave the context, but I guess you needed it spelled out:

so they can vote

See, there is only one context where 'Japanese' relates to voting, and that's Japanese citizenship. Which foreigners are able to take. Anyone whining about it who isn't Japanese is whining about a country that isn't their own. Why should a sovereign nation give a damn one way or the other what citizens of other nations think about their policies? Japan's priority is to Japanese citizens. Don't like their closed borders, and aren't Japanese? Then your opinion is entirely irrelevant. Literally no one who matters, cares.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

what do you care since you are not Japanese and an owner of a business that relies on the tourism business.

I care a hell of a lot, because my life, wife, and children are all in Japan, so what happens there is entirely relevant to my whole life. Good enough reason for you?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Hmm I read the.comments here and complete agree this is politics not science. Where I live in the US, Covid is over and has been for over a year. People have collectively learned life is short - so live it full as a member of society - not cower behind a thin cloth or in your house

But it does not matter what we think or believe.

Let’s remember Japanese government can do whatever they want about their borders. It is called sovereignty. We are only temporary guests and one of things we respect about Japan it that it takes its own road (mostly)

So if they want to never fully open their borders again - that is there call and while it seems shortsighted to us, it is what it is Accept it or go somewhere else

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Hmm I read the.comments here and complete agree this is politics not science. Where I live in the US, Covid is over and has been for over a year. People have collectively learned life is short - so live it full as a member of society - not cower behind a thin cloth or in your house

It’s been over where I live now in the US also.

Only about 1,100 people died last month. No different than 8 or 9 airliner crashes per month.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

And that is just one state…

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tourists will be treated as potential covid spreaders and pariahs because they don’t follow the absurd masking etiquette in Japan, which sees every citizen muzzled in their cozy safety net of fake protection and group dogma.

That's an absurd claim, all countries recommended masks to help protect against covid no?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japanese tourists should be banned from all countries unless FULL reciprocation is given. Full stop. See how they like it.

Obviously the countries you have in mind don't feel that way else they would have reciprocated

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Hmm I read the.comments here and complete agree this is politics not science. Where I live in the US, Covid is over and has been for over a year. People have collectively learned life is short - so live it full as a member of society - not cower behind a thin cloth or in your house

Well, every American state performed extremely terribly throughout covid, with horrible deaths across the whole country. So I don't think that using one of the worst-performing nations in regards to covid deaths is a valid benchmark for determining whether or not it's political, from the country that pretended it didn't exist for political reasons.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

As more people plan to come to Japan, businesses should sanitize, make certain staff wear personal protective equipment and perhaps encourage mask wearing, social distancing of visitors . . . .

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I would love to visit Japan again to see more arts and culture. I still have the half million yen I bought before my flight was cancelled.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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