Japan to Mull Easing COVID-19 Border Controls: PM Kishida

Tokyo – Japan will consider relaxing its border control measures against the novel coronavirus, which currently ban new entries by foreign nationals in principle, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Saturday.

The government hopes to ease the controls when the current measures expire at the end of February, while there is a proposal to relax restrictions in advance on business travelers and students, informed sources said.

“We need to comprehensively take into account the accumulation of scientific knowledge on the omicron strain, changes in the infection situations at home and abroad, and border controls overseas,” Kishida told reporters after inspecting border control work at Tokyo International Airport at Haneda.

“We will proceed with a study on easing” the curbs, he added.

Since Nov. 30 last year, Japan has in principle banned entries by nonresident foreigners in response to the spread of the highly infectious omicron variant and limited the number of people allowed to enter the county to some 3,500 per day.