Japan Mulling Tighter Entry Restrictions

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Dec. 22 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government is considering strengthening its entry restrictions following the spread of a variant of the novel coronavirus in Britain and elsewhere in the world, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said Tuesday.

"We'll consider necessary steps, such as halting entry of short-term business travelers, quickly and make responses," Kato told a press conference.

The new variant discovered in Britain has not been identified in Japan. Once it is brought to Japan, it would threaten to overwhelm the country's medical systems, a government source said.

The threat of the variant may force the administration of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to abandon efforts to relax restrictions to stage a return to normal economic activities, sources familiar with the situation said.

Currently, Japan bans non-Japanese travelers from countries including Britain from entering Japan, except for spouses of Japanese nationals.

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