Japanese officials said that they are evaluating further relaxation of border control measures, including lifting the daily limit on the number of people entering the country, lifting the ban on independent travel, and restoring visa-free entry. It is expected to be implemented by October 2022.
Focusing on the tourism boom in the autumn and winter tourist seasons, it is expected to make full use of the yen exchange rate. The benefits of the recent heavy devaluation.
Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kihara Seiji said in an interview with Fuji TV on the 11th that the authorities are evaluating the policy of restricting the entry of 50,000 people a day. Requirements such as the need for visas and entry only for group tours, “we will evaluate them as a whole and will implement them soon.”
Japan currently has a daily limit of 50,000 people entering Japan. At the same time, foreign groups who do not need to be accompanied by a tour guide are allowed to enter, and the original restriction on entry of people from 102 countries or regions has also been lifted.
Kihara said Japan should not fall further behind other countries in attracting foreign tourists, especially at a time when the devaluation of the yen is making travel to Japan more attractive. The yen fell to a 24-year low against the dollar recently as investors focused on the widening divergence between U.S. and Japanese monetary policy.
He said that the Japanese government is closely watching the excessive one-way trend of the yen and must take necessary measures, and the tourism industry is the most economical way of devaluing the yen.
The Nikkei reported that Japan will lift the cap on the number of people entering the country by October, but officials are still divided on whether to lift other restrictions at the same time. The upper limit on the number of people entering the country will be lifted, and free travel and visa-free entry will be allowed after observing the situation.
Japanese cabinet officials believe that Japan should ease travel restrictions in the fall, otherwise it will be more difficult to ease restrictions if the new crown epidemic returns in winter.
Analysts also said that lifting the cap on the number of people entering the country and allowing more tourists to enter will be the key to attracting foreign capital back to Japan and revitalizing the economy. Only 245,900 foreign tourists visited Japan last year, the lowest level since such data began in 1964, hitting the tourism industry hard.
According to another report by the Yomiuri Shimbun, the Japanese government is considering amending the law to develop the tourism potential of the fishing port. At present, Japan’s Fishing Port and Fishery Improvement Law restricts fishing ports to activities such as berthing and handling aquatic products, and restricts the construction of tourist facilities, such as fish ponds and restaurants, but the government plans to propose amendments in January next year to expand the use of fishing ports to revitalize the economy of fishing villages.