The Big Story: Japan to start welcoming tourists on package tours from 4 countries, including S'pore

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Catch the latest news reports on The Big Story, The Straits Times' weekday online news programme.

Japan will welcome foreign tourists on package tours from this month as part of a trial to see how well travel agencies can "manage behaviour", the Japan Tourism Agency said in a statement on Tuesday (May 17).

Travellers from the United States, Australia, Thailand and Singapore who have received three vaccination doses will be able to enter the country for tourism.

Japan correspondent Walter Sim joins the programme to share more details.

Meanwhile, Singapore will restart work on Changi Airport Terminal 5 after a two-year pause, to build up the country's future capacity as the aviation industry recovers faster than expected from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Construction should start in about two to three years, with T5 operational around the mid-2030s, in time to meet an anticipated doubling of volume in the next two decades.

Associate editor Ven Sreenivasan weighs in on what T5's development will mean for Singapore's aviation sector in the post-pandemic world.

Separately, Singapore's non-oil domestic exports grew at a slower pace for the fifth straight month in April, rising 6.4 per cent from a year ago, following a 7.7 per cent increase in March.

This comes amid worries about the global economy, with major Wall Street banks warning of a possible recession in the United States in the next 12 to 24 months.

Associate editor Vikram Khanna discusses the possibility of a recession here in the coming months.

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