The Japanese government is set to temporarily suspend an arrangement allowing business travelers from 11 Asian countries and regions to enter Japan, effectively banning the entry of nonresident foreign travelers.
Accordingly citizens from Sri Lanka, Vietnam, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore and Malaysia will not be allowed to enter Japan till the ban is lifted.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga explained that the government had changed its position to temporarily halt all business travel as new COVID-19 infections spread domestically, saying that additional steps needed to be taken at borders to prevent new coronavirus variants from entering the country.
In addition to domestic coronavirus situation, there were cases of a cluster attributed to a variant from an individual who returned from the U.K. and of another new variant from several individuals who returned from Brazil, Suga said, explaining the reason behind the decision.
The entry restrictions will take effect from Thursday (14) till February 7.
Immigration authorities already halted new entries of nonresident foreign nationals in December following the discovery of a deadly new strain of the coronavirus in the United Kingdom. However, authorities preserved the travel mechanism for business travelers to minimize disruptions to economic activities.
Japanese and foreign nationals with valid legal statuses are permitted to return to the country under the latest entry restrictions.