Planes are parked at the gates at Tokyo Haneda International Airport. Photo: AP file
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Japan planning to allow 20,000 daily foreign arrivals in June

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Still only 20% of what the average number of daily foreign visitors there were in December 2019, and they have not really opened borders as they said they would, just allowing next month for North Korea style heavily surveilled government sponsored tours.

-6 ( +20 / -26 )

In 2021, just 245,900 foreign visitors came to Japan

How? I thought Japan was closed?

-7 ( +12 / -19 )

Eliminate the arrival testing and pre departure testing requirements.

20 ( +32 / -12 )

Thunderbird2

Japan has never been closed during the pandemic.

Restrictions yes.

-11 ( +12 / -23 )

How? I thought Japan was closed?

Most of those numbers are just reentries. The rest are diplomats, and special permissions approved by the Ministry of Justice, mostly under humanitarian grounds.

11 ( +19 / -8 )

The quasi reopening shuffling forward is painfully bothersome.

Sukoshi zutsu yo.

-12 ( +8 / -20 )

Imagine coming to Japan as a tourist only to be locked in a hotel for 3 days even though you’re fully vaccinated and healthy and then getting to do a strictly supervised bus tour lmao, no one is coming.

20,000 daily is going to help the new workers and students with visas enter much easier though, so it’s nice to see some kind of progress.

7 ( +21 / -14 )

I hope they will do away with the PCR test on arrival and making people wait endlessly after deplaning. I was one of those ignorant few that arrived back in Japan after a 2 weeks visit home and thought that me a PR of Japan, having a PCR test taken 24 hours before arrival and who is triple vaccinated would be able to just waltz through immigration control, pick the baggage and be on the way home. Lest did I know that it would take me 4 hours to reach the immigration counters after deplaning. PCR test after arrival-Counter 1-Counter 2- Counter3-Counter 4- Counter Zillion-Get PCR results-Oh! you are triple vaccinated-No quarantine required-Immigration-Baggage-My last train had departed-Sleep at the airport until the next morn. That when the daily arrivals was 10K. If this is the same process that JGov would continue with double the arrivals, may our souls RIP. :-)

12 ( +18 / -6 )

OMG this is alarming! I am concerned for my safety and the health of the people in my city! Please pray that the medical facilities will not be overwhelmed during summer.

-26 ( +10 / -36 )

@ Seigi

The only thing that will overwhelm you in the summer is the humidity. Get a grip.

21 ( +32 / -11 )

Actually, I came twice-maybe a double count?

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

That number for 2021 is a bit of a misnomer as it included all NON Citizens - so mostly re entries. And as @kurisupisu says he would have been counted twice for sure. I know wives and children who came went several times. It sonly 673 people a day! -

@Rain Man - The 3 days in a hotel is LONG gone, as I'm sure you well know apart from 7 countries.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Some people's sarcasm detectors aren't working well today.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

Still only 20% of what the average number of daily foreign visitors there were in December 2019,

What is the obsession with getting back to what things were like in 2019? Ever spoken to residents of Kyoto - or any tourist area in Japan - about the impact of uncontrolled tourist growth? No, didnt think so.

-10 ( +15 / -25 )

@Fighto! I'm sure the good residents of Kyoto loved it at first . Now their city is about to go bankrupt.

13 ( +22 / -9 )

Japan's government is arranging to double the cap on arrivals from overseas to 20,000 people per day in June, government sources said Wednesday.

I wish Kyodo used better translators. The original Japanese, which I had to look up, is 入国者, which I am fairly certain carries the meaning of Non-Japanese by nuance. Most "arrivals from overseas" will be Japanese, who also get the spit test for Covid. In terms of logistics at the airport, it is this testing that is the hassle, not the difference between handling Japanese and non Japanese passports.

I flew to Tokyo with Air France on April 19th. 90% of the plane was non-Japanese, but the vast majority of them did not enter Japan despite taking a Tokyo-bound flight. They were all let off first and went off through the "connections" corridor. They were simply using Narita as a hub airport, probably due to a lack of other flights to East Asia/Australasia through the usual channels like HK, Seoul, and Singapore. If many people currently flying to Tokyo are not entering the country, it begs the question of how do you cap the number of non-Japanese people coming here. You cannot do it with the number of seats on planes. The probable net result of this is that it is unlikely anything like 20,000 NJ people a day will enter the country, even if that number is officially allowed.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

@theResident, very true! But we’re talking about tourists here. What’s the bet they want to enforce quarantine for them? Who knows really, but a way to kill the idea before it begins would be that! I mean a supervised tour like North Korea isn’t that much better either hahah.

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

Imagine coming to Japan as a tourist only to be locked in a hotel for 3 days even though you’re fully vaccinated and healthy and then getting to do a strictly supervised bus tour lmao, no one is coming.

you are likely to catch and spread the virus if you are fully vaccinated because you feel you are safe. There is no “fully vaccinated”. while most vaccinated countries citizens have had 2 doses plus a booster, and vulnerable people are on the second booster, the CEO of Pzhizer states everybody should have the third booster because vaccines don’t fully work, but apparently lessen the effects.

both my brothers family and cousins family have had it. One during the two week quarantine in week one, the other four days after a school sports day. So no point having a 3 day quarantine.

because Japan has been limiting foreign we haven’t had time to get herd immunity from Omicron B.2 and new B.4. Or the dangerous Omicron Delta variant.

how can Japan test, quarantine and track 20000 entrants a day, who probably most can’t speak, read or write Japanese?

returning 10-day self-isolating Japanese and PRs is OK, but letting a load of mixed country tourists is not OK. We should watch what happens with NZ first.

even fully vaccinated Bill Gate is sick in 2 week isolation after being infected.

-15 ( +3 / -18 )

@Rodney, cool, I’ve had covid as well and it was a big fat nothing. Influenza was worse. I also agree there is no point in a quarantine and track in the slightest either - I just wouldn’t put it past Japan to try it lol.

-5 ( +13 / -18 )

As usual, I'm just waiting to see what happens

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

We should watch what happens with NZ first

Why watch NZ? Rest of the world has already done and guess what? They’re fine. My family is here, but I was happiest abroad earlier this year because those countries had already gotten back to normalcy and classed it as endemic - i.e., no one cares. Japan will get there eventually, and we’re beginning to see the signs. The inevitable tourists are coming, lol.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

Fighto!Today  05:39 pm JST

Still only 20% of what the average number of daily foreign visitors there were in December 2019,

What is the obsession with getting back to what things were like in 2019? Ever spoken to residents of Kyoto - or any tourist area in Japan - about the impact of uncontrolled tourist growth? No, didnt think so.

I said the same thing and the moderator deleted my post, lol.

0 ( +12 / -12 )

it's a quasi-20,000 not an actual 20,000

-7 ( +8 / -15 )

Just who are those 20,000 lucky foreigners! They just won the lottery!!!

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Meh, it will not change anything for tourists that want to visit.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

There is no science involved in any of this. It is purely about politics - pandering to the xenophobic LDP voter base and trying to make an impression that the government is “doing something” and that they’re carefully controlling everything in stages. The border restrictions are having next to zero effect in the grand scheme of things.

3 ( +20 / -17 )

Slow Japan.

-12 ( +8 / -20 )

There is no science involved in any of this

So what would be scientific to you, opening suddenly without quota or restrictions?

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

Nihon ToraToday  06:29 pm JST

There is no science involved in any of this. It is purely about politics - pandering to the xenophobic LDP voter base

No, you got that backwards. They're pandering to the xenophile business owners who support the LDP.

2 ( +17 / -15 )

Switzerland lifted all restrictions and there was no problem. I think Governments should stop bullying the people, whoever wants the vaccine can get it.

Free countries allow people to be free!

6 ( +12 / -6 )

J Government must represent a clear coherent policy.

Japan planning to allow 20,000 daily foreign arrivals in June

That number could be plucked out of thin air.

In late April, private-sector members of a government panel on economic and fiscal policy called for relaxing the daily foreign arrival cap and easing additional immigration procedures.

What is driving the policy?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

It's still 20,000 arrivals full stop in one day. Total. Citizens, Residents, and whichever tourists they decide to let in. Also, if read properly, whether they continue with test on arrival is undecided. (although if I was a betting man I'd say they will continue)

That 20,000 does NOT include transit passengers as someone alluded to above.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

With such strict entry limitations still in place, how close to 10,000/day are they currently actually admitting? Is it close? Are flights being cancelled because the passengers would put the number over 10,000/day?

Depending on those answers, 20,000 might just be lip service.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

What is the obsession with getting back to what things were like in 2019? 

This was supposedly to prevent the spread of a virus, wasn't it? So if that problem is basically under control, what is with the obsession of wanting to keep restrictions?

It seems to me that people like yourself weren't pushing for this restrictions not because of the virus, but because of your personal world view that wants less tourism, and it was a convenient excuse.

Ever spoken to residents of Kyoto - or any tourist area in Japan - about the impact of uncontrolled tourist growth? 

I know people who had to declare bankruptcy in their business because of their business depending on tourists to subsist.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

At the cap most days pre/post GW. If you CAN'T buy a ticket into Japan it's not because the flight is full its because they can't sell you a ticket because of the cap. There are flights into Japan that have 30-40 people on board this week from a lot of destinations that have a handful of passengers on. There are secondary websites that show you real seatmaps.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

There is no science involved in any of this

So what would be scientific to you, opening suddenly without quota or restrictions?

I dunno, how about, simply checking out the many countries that have opened their borders already, only for it to make no difference? How about listening to the WHO who said two months ago that border restrictions were ineffective at this point? How about taking the 50,000+ daily cases here for the last three months and then multiplying that number by 5 or 10 to realize that we've already probably had 20 to 30% of the population infected here this year alone - just like they did over in Korea, a country where they similarly wear masks religiously, have even better vaccination rate and probably similar genetic make-up to here and where they actually did enough testing to show it. How about just using some simple common sense to realize that if your border restrictions only apply to foreigners, and you have almost no restrictions domestically, it isn't going to make any real difference when you have a virus that transmits as rapidly as measles. So, yes, I think that opening without quota or restrictions is well overdue.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Very scientific thanks.

You could just have said toss a coin

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Well a good start

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

There is no guarantee you will able to visit shops and restaurants. As soon as they find out you are a tourist you will be barred from entering.

“Sorry we are full“

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

I know people who had to declare bankruptcy in their business because of their business depending on tourists to subsist.

Ganbare Nippon LMAO!

-14 ( +2 / -16 )

Cool Japan!

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

All those foreigners just cant wait to travel to Japan.

I doubt it.

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

Not wise.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Beginning to think Kishida-san and other LDP leaders have no intention to allow foreigners to visit Japan in same numbers as pre-COVID. My view is Kishida-san basically lied in London when saying he intends to get Japan on par with other G-7 countries.

Elected leaders here believe restriction on foreigner entry equals more votes. No interest in being a "leader" and doing something unpopular with the masses, but best for the country in the long-term.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Bad move Japan.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

Excellent!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

All those foreigners just cant wait to travel to Japan.

I doubt it.

Why? Do you not live in the real world? Japan is an extremely popular place to visit, and people are definitely waiting to. Here in Canada, when I tell people I live in Japan, invariable they tell me that they've been here and loved it, or really want to go.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

@ Coulda been

Good shot back at Seigi's comment. Lol.

Can you also advise TARA TAN KITAOKA as well.

She's another one.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

To the above that said japan is an extremely popular place to visit. No it aint. Again, no it aint. Its popular to those who have done it. Succinct difference.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

To the above that said japan is an extremely popular place to visit. No it aint. Again, no it aint. Its popular to those who have done it

Mate there were 10 million visits per year to Japan pre pandemic. I’m in Canada now and the number of people who have visited japan is surprising. I don’t talk to many who have been there twice.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Even Thailand has some ridiculous tight entry restrictions, even they have virtually all been lifted, so its about time Japan opened up its borders. let the economy get moving and get some tourists back and spending some money, maybe it will make a dent in the massive deficit Japan has.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

What’s the use? Returning residents from Golden Week vacations are experiencing up to 7 hour waits in immigration. Japan is unprepared

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

If I travel to Japan, everyone will make me feel guilty because apparently the consensus is that foreigners bring in new variants and COVID, whereas Japanese themselves have always managed very well to do that. In fact, Omikron was detected in Japan earlier that in my home country.

Then I need to test before and after flight. I need to have a booster although I'm 30 and have had COVID twice already and am two times vaccinated.

Then I have to take part in guided tours (probably in Kyoto Osaka Tokyo Nara Hiroshima) although I have stayed in Japan for months before, and my common travel destinations in Kyushu are not really popular and not toured frequently.

Meanwhile it's OK for Japanese to travel in and out.

Meanwhile it's OK to let 30 million Japanese residents travel during Golden Week, although yearly tourism in 2019 was 29 millin.

Meanwhile it's OK for Japanese not to have a booster vaccination.

I don't understand these politics anymore, but probably I will not spend $10,000 for a holiday. I can either get guided tours that young people don't enjoy at all in Japan, or I can be treated like a god in a Spa on the Canary Islands for that money.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

I have finally seen the most sensible comment about opening the borders . In fact , I’ve had a change of mind, I agree they should seriously relax the border controls…. Allow in foreigners… even for tourism… it’s the domestic foreigners that are the problem conforming to the most basic forms of mitigation measures. Make some common sense entry requirements…. Must be vaccinated…. Boosted …. If so , have a temp check, and wear a mask in the airport. I think the vast majority of potential foreign tourists would adhere. As it’s the domestic that are doing most of the whining…. And not vaccinated…. Not all …. But most …

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Eliminate the arrival testing and pre departure testing requirements.

Gotta keep track of the variants though, even if the variants are going to be weaker, people must be inconvenienced just in case.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

Jan-

Excellent post. right on the money.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

What is the obsession with getting back to what things were like in 2019? Ever spoken to residents of Kyoto - or any tourist area in Japan - about the impact of uncontrolled tourist growth? No, didnt think so.

for a city that depends on tourism and the huge losses that business and the city have had over the last 2 yrs, im guessing theyll be slightly more tolerant next time round

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Kyoto is bankrupt and will be wise to accept tourists again. It looks like some people don't understand those kind of cities. They are made for tourism. A big percentage of housings are hotels. A big percentage of retail is catered to tourists.

If Kyoto wanted less tourists, they should have used their easy money to transform the city into a non-tourist area, but they didn't.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Ain't nobody flying half way round the world to jump through hoops and be treated like dirt and told to put a piece of paper on your face..

The Thai's tried it, didn't work out well for them, they dropped all entry requirements last month.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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