JAPAN TOURISM UPDATE

Tourists will be able to visit Japan from next week on package tours without a guide, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Wednesday, as the country moves to ease strict COVID-19 controls.

From Sept. 7, Japan will also raise its daily cap on the number of people allowed to enter the country to 50,000, Kishida told reporters.

Japan has kept strict border restrictions in place longer than many other major economies, and only in June began allowing tourists to visit on the condition they came in tour groups accompanied by guides.

“As international exchange becomes more active worldwide, Japan will join this movement — also from the viewpoint of taking advantage of a cheap yen,” said Kishida, who has himself just recovered from COVID-19.

From the same date, “we’ll also make it possible for tourists from all countries to enter the country on package tours without tour guides, and we will proceed with making entry procedures smoother at airports”, he added.

But the measures fall short of a full reopening and visitors are still required to book their trips through agents and obtain visas.

CTTO: ABS CBN NEWS

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