Kishida Announces Plan to Ease COVID-19 Border Measures

Politics Society Health

Tokyo, Feb. 17 (Jiji Press)--Japan will relax its border control measures strengthened in the fight against the omicron variant of the novel coronavirus, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Thursday.

Japan will allow new entries by foreign short-stay business travelers and students, while increasing the daily number of people allowed to enter the country from some 3,500 at present to around 5,000, Kishida told a press conference.

The current measures include a basic ban on new entries by foreign nationals.

"We will maintain caution while at the same time gradually beginning to move toward the exit of the sixth wave (of infections)," Kishida said.

Kishida was speaking at his first press conference since Jan. 4. He apparently decided to meet the press to explain his policy carefully as the strict border control measures have been criticized by the business community and people overseas, while receiving support from some at home.

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