Japan will once more accept foreign visitors after having its borders closed for more than two years due to the Covid pandemic.
Beginning on October 11, travelers won’t need a visa or go via a travel agency to enter the country.
The daily arrival cap will also be eliminated.
Japan made its announcement about the same time that Taiwan and Hong Kong announced loosened rules on visitor entry.
Taiwan will stop needing quarantine for foreign tourists by the middle of October, and Hong Kong stated on Friday that it would start requiring stay-at-home quarantine on September 26 instead of hotel quarantine.
At a time when the value of the yen has been declining against the US dollar at its slowest rate in six months, the anticipated increase in tourists will be a welcome boost for the government and small businesses in Japan.
“Japan will simplify border control measures to be on par with the US,” said Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
Visitors have been allowed since June, but they had to take tours.
Mr. Kishida also revealed a domestic reward scheme for travel that provides price breaks on tickets for sporting events, concerts, amusement parks, and more. Japanese nationals and residents will be eligible for a grant worth 11,000 yen (£69; $77).
Similar programs have been put in place in other countries reopenings to encourage citizens to spend money and stimulate the economy. But just like everywhere else, the residents have been very concerned about the rising expense of living.
The third-largest economy in the world was one of the last Asian superpowers to keep its borders closed due to Covid health worries.
Among the richest nations in the world, it has one of the highest vaccination rates, but it also has the lowest total death rate.
In Japan, lockdowns and wearing masks were never necessary, but many people rapidly adapted safety precautions.
In the year before the outbreak, 2019, Japan welcomed over 32 million foreign tourists. Additionally, sources stated that recent travel restrictions had prevented a lot of foreign guests from arriving.