Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio said the country would resume allowing inbound tourism which had been suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Kishida said on Thursday that Japan would reopen its borders to foreign tourists from June 10. Only visitors of accompanied package tours will be allowed to enter at this time, in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
The government will double its current cap on the number of arrivals from abroad to 20,000 a day from June 1. The figure will include foreign tourists.
Japan will let in tourists from 98 countries and territories ranked as having the lowest coronavirus positivity rates. They will include the United States, South Korea and China.
Visitors in the lowest-risk group will be exempt from virus testing and self-quarantine even if they have not been vaccinated against COVID-19.
Reopening the border to foreign tourists is expected to rejuvenate the tourism industry and local economies that have been hit hard by the pandemic.
However, analysts say it will take time for inbound tourism from Japan to return to pre-pandemic levels, when overseas visitors topped 30 million a year.
Attention is focused on the country’s ability to welcome more foreign tourists while keeping the national infection situation under control.