Japan will remove border controls and a limit on daily entries, allowing for the entry of single travellers. The action is a step in the right direction for Japan’s tourism sector.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced in New York that Japan will remove a number of Covid border regulations as of October 11. This decision is expected to boost the tourism sector. At a news conference on Thursday morning in New York, Kishida indicated that individual guests will be permitted entry and that Japan will reintroduce visa waivers. He also announced the removal of Japan’s daily arrivals cap. Later that day, Kishida received cheers from the audience when he declared that Japan would “reduce border control procedures to be on par with the US.”
As the pandemic’s deadliest wave in the nation begins to subside, Japan has decided to remove the majority of its restrictions on international visitors. The yen has also fallen to its lowest levels against the dollar in nearly 25 years, making the archipelago an affordable and alluring travel destination for tourists from abroad.
At the same time, discounts for domestic travel would be implemented, Kishida continued. Airlines, hotels, and merchants are all attempting to recoup the money they lost after experiencing a travel boom before the outbreak.
While business leaders have complained about the harm to the economy and asked him to throw the doors wide, voters who are still fearful of infections praised Kishida for his careful approach to opening up after the first waves of the pandemic.
Before the implementation of Covid, Japan permitted non-visa stays of up to 90 days for citizens of 68 nations and regions, including the US. Nearly 32 million visitors, a record, came in 2019, down from approximately 246,000 the year before.
Hirokazu Matsuno, the chief cabinet secretary, revealed last week that the government was considering amending the legislation to allow hotels to turn away customers who disobey infection control procedures. Face masks are still fairly universally used in Japan, unlike many other nations, despite the fact that they are not officially required by law.
A few hours after Japan intervened to support the yen, Kishida added that the currency had been losing ground quickly and that recent speculative swings had been observed.
“The principle is for markets to decide currency levels, but we cannot overlook repeated excessive moves due to speculation,” Kishida said.
The intervention followed the Bank of Japan’s decision earlier on Thursday to stick with ultra-low interest rates and comes after months of speculation that the authorities would have to take action to stem a slide of around 20% in the currency this year.
At the NYSE, Kishida outlined his economic-reform program, from the encouragement of workforce and corporate-governance changes to bolstering innovation and decarbonization.
The prime minister also touted an “asset-income doubling plan.” Only about 10% of the 2,000 trillion yen ($14.1 trillion) in personal financial assets is invested in stocks, he noted.
“In order to double asset income and enable long-term asset building for retirement, it is essential to make our small investment tax exemption system for individuals permanent,” Kishida said.