Sightseeing still off the table, though.

Though many businesses and public facilities in Japan have remained open during the coronavirus pandemic, the country was quick to close its borders to international travel once worldwide infection numbers began to spike in the spring. The decision has been credited by many for Japan’s remarkably low number of COVID-19 cases, especially for a nation with so many high-density population centers, but has nonetheless been a sad situation for those longing to enter the country.

It wasn’t until the summer that business travel was reopened for visitors coming from a select group of other Asian nations, and even then only for business travelers. Now, though, in the latest step on the long path back to the old normalcy, though, multiple sources are reporting that the Japanese government will reopen travel to Japan from all countries worldwide next month.

Those entering Japan will still be required to complete a two-week quarantine period before being allowed out into the general public, and inbound traffic will be limited to 1,000 people per day. Access will not be limited to only businesspeople, either, though unfortunately for those with general wanderlust, entry into Japan for sightseeing will still not be allowed.

However, the new policy will finally open up an avenue for Japan’s non-citizen foreign residents to return to the country. Japan has largely denied reentry to non-citizens who were residing in Japan on work or student visas but were traveling outside the country when the borders were closed. The policy has drawn criticism from many in the international community, as it’s kept legal residents from returning to their jobs, schools, and homes in Japan, putting them in a state of limbo as they’ve had to somehow piece together an indefinitely temporary way of life wherever they happen to be stuck.

Sources: Asahi Shimbun Digital via Otakomu, Nihon Keizai Shimbun
Top image: Pakutaso
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