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A Japanese government adviser is considering proposing a reopening of the country to tourists amid falling new Covid-19 infections, according to Bloomberg.
Proposal to submit
The official is said to be a member of the Economic and Fiscal Policy Council, which advises Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
Bloomberg noted that Yomiuria local newspaper, had reported that the government adviser is expected to submit Japan’s border reopening proposal at a meeting on April 27.
It was unclear whether the member had the support of other council members.
Japan closed to tourists since 2020
Japan has been closed to foreign tourists since early 2020, following the start of the pandemic.
In November 2021, it also suspended the entry of all foreign visitors to the country after a relaxation of measures, due to the rise of the Omicron variant Covid-19.
Returning Japanese citizens and foreign residents have also been asked to self-quarantine for two weeks in designated facilities, regardless of their vaccination status.
As recently as April 2022, Kishida had shared that Japan had “no immediate plans” to reopen its borders to foreign tourists, as it reviews a potential resurgence in Covid-19 numbers, according to Japan time.
However, Japan’s hotel industry, which has been hit by a sharp drop in the number of foreign visitors, has urged the government to reopen to more foreign tourists.
According to Bloombergthe number of foreign visitors was nearly 32 million in 2019, but is only 250,000 in 2021.
Japan has currently eased travel restrictions to allow business travelers and students to return to the country.
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