Japan to remove entry restrictions from Oct 11
Japan will lift all Covid-19 border controls from October 11 in a bid to revive its tourism industry. All tourism routes will be reopened and visa waivers will also be reinstated, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Thursday.
The PM made the announcement in a speech at the UN General Assembly in New York.
“I hope many people will utilise it,” Kishida told the press later. “I want to support travel, entertainment and other industries that have been struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic.”
Thailand is among 70 countries that Japan had visa waiver agreements with before the pandemic, and it will be reinstated after October 11. Thai passport holders will be part of the blue group, which means they will not be required to provide vaccine passport, RT-PCR test results or be required to isolate.
The cap on daily arrivals will also be lifted, Kishida said.
Japan has been slowly raising the daily arrival cap over the past six months, starting with 5,000 on March 1 to 50,000 now.
Meanwhile, Reuters quoted Kishida as saying that excessive fluctuations in the Japanese currency due to speculation cannot be ignored. In his speech at the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, Kishida said his government would act “with a high level of vigilance” and intervene to support the currency if necessary. The yen has hit a 24-year low recently.
"In principle, the exchange rate is determined by the market, but I don’t think we can overlook the repetition of excessive fluctuations due to such speculation,” he said. “Based on this idea, today we implemented a foreign exchange intervention in Japan. The government will continue to monitor exchange rate trends with a high sense of urgency and take the necessary measures against excessive fluctuations.
“We will continue to observe these exchange trends with a high level of interest and a sense of urgency,” said Kishida.
Singthong Lapseedphan, ambassador of Thailand to Japan, said on Thursday that he believes the Covid-19 situation will improve gradually and travel between Thailand and Japan will soon be restored to before the pandemic.
“After 2019, up to 1.3 million Thai tourists have visited Japan, while up to 1.8 million Japanese have arrived in Thailand,” he said. “Japanese tourists are among the top spenders who help contribute to the recovery of our tourism industry.”