The Japanese government is considering easing the upper limit on the number of people entering Japan from the current 10,000 per day to 20,000 per day with regard to border control measures for the new coronavirus.
The government intends to make a formal decision after determining the infection status of the new coronavirus and to implement the measure by the end of June 2022.
Background of border control measures
In November 2021, the government was about to relax the border control measures, but due to the spread of the Omicron strain, the border control measures were strengthened and the maximum number of people entering the country was lowered from 5,000 to 3,500 per day.
Since March 2022, as the infection situation improved, the government began to ease the restrictions in stages, and from April 10, the upper limit was expanded to 10,000 people, allowing business people and foreign students to enter the country.
The situation is too severe for immigration restrictions
Despite the 10,000-people cap, a number of domestic and foreign business leaders have called for an acceleration of the resumption of economic activities, saying that the entry restrictions are too strict. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida expressed his positive attitude toward easing restrictions on entry into Japan by stating, “We will further ease border control measures so that entry into Japan will be as smooth as in the other seven G7 countries in June.
The government is also considering the possibility of gradually expanding the number of tourists by acce pting a limited number of model tours of a few hundred people. The idea is also said to be floated.
The most stringent border control measures among the G7
At a press conference on May 10, 2022, Minister of State for Economic Revitalization Daishiro Yamaguchi said, “We have taken the most stringent border measures among the G7, but the government is now making adjustments in the sense that we will gradually move in the direction of opening up.
The government plans to make a final decision on the timing of easing entry restrictions over the next week or two, after also assessing the impact of the recent Golden-Week holiday on the number of newly infected and the utilization of hospital beds.
Will the government ease the restrictions further in the future?
Based on various circumstances, the upper limit of the entry limit will probably be 20,000 people. Although this is still a very strict limit compared to the U.S., Japan is a country with a large elderly population, and it can be said that the country has yet to make the necessary changes to reopen its economy.
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