TOKYO • Japan will lift a re-entry ban on foreigners from next month, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said yesterday, as the country looks to rebuild an economy hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
"From Sept 1, we will allow foreigners with proper visas to re-enter after leaving the country, on condition that they take additional measures to prevent infection," Mr Abe said.
The policy will "allow those who are currently in countries on which Japan has imposed an entry ban to re-enter", he added.
Japan has faced criticism for a strict Covid-19 border control policy that has kept out most non-citizens, including those with long-term residency.
Mr Abe said the loosening of the rules would be implemented alongside measures to keep the virus at bay. The announcement came hours before news of Mr Abe's plan to resign over health issues.
Japan has been hit less hard than most advanced economies by the pandemic, with just over 65,000 cases and around 1,200 deaths.