Japan set to allow tourists to enter without visas, remove entry curb from October

Japan will not require visas for short-term travellers from the United States and certain other countries. PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO - Japan is expected to lift a ban on individual tourist visa requirements and remove a limit on daily arrivals in October, as it aims to benefit from a rebound in global tourism, Nikkei reported Thursday.

Following the change, Japan will not require visas for short-term travellers from the United States and certain other countries, and will scrap the daily entry cap of 50,000 people, the media outlet said.

ST understands that Singapore will be one of the countries where tourists will not be required to have a visa to enter Japan.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is expected to announce the changes in the coming days, the report said.

With the yen languishing near a 24-year low against the dollar, owing to a hawkish US Federal Reserve, the Japanese government could benefit from capitalising on the increased buying power of tourists by easing travel requirements, the report added.

Japan last week raised the daily ceiling of inbound travellers to 50,000 from 20,000, and eliminated a requirement for pre-departure Covid-19 tests, easing what have been among the most restrictive border measures among major economies.

Before the pandemic, Japan did not require tourist visas for 68 countries and regions.

Japan’s international travel demand has been hampered by the need for tourists to obtain visas and travel agency bookings as well a daily cap on inbound traveller numbers. 

The country’s flagship Japan Airlines is operating at 65 per cent of its pre-pandemic international capacity, although the Covid-19 curbs are limiting demand to just about 40 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, an airline executive told the media earlier this week. 

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