Travelers from U.S., China, and other Group Blue countries will not have to show proof of vaccination or undergo PCR testing.

Prior to the start of the pandemic, Japan was receiving more than 30 million foreign tourists annually. That number has dropped to practically zero for most of the past two years, but the country is finally ready to start welcoming inbound pleasure travelers again.

During a speech in Tokyo on Thursday night, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced that on June 1, Japan will be raising its cap on inbound travelers from 10,000 to 20,000 a day. He then delivered the long-awaited news that Japan will reopening its borders to foreign tourists just two weeks from now, on June 10, with no vaccinations required for arrivals from 98 countries.

As part of the relaxed entry regulations, travelers will be classified as being in one of three groups. Those in the 98-country Group Blue, which includes the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, China, South Korea, and Thailand, will not be required to be vaccinated, undergo PCR testing upon arrival in Japan, or go through any sort of quarantine period.

The complete list of Group Blue countries is:
Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentine, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote d’lvoire, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyz, Laos, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Sudan, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Zambia

Travellers from Group Yellow countries will face stricter requirements, which Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs summaries as “On-arrival test and 7-day home quarantine (or 3-day home quarantine + negative result of a voluntary test) are required, however, those who obtain a valid vaccination certificate are not required to have on-arrival test, home quarantine and other measures.”

Group Yellow Countries:
Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Bhutan, Botswana, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Cook Island, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Federated States of Micronesia, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Macau, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Moldova, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Niue, North Korea, North Macedonia, Oman, Palestine, Peru, Portugal, Republic of Burundi, Republic of Congo, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Republic of Vanuatu, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Solomon, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Tajikistan, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vatican, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Western Sahara, Yemen, Zimbabwe

Finally, for travelers from Albania, Fiji, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, the four Group Red countries, the ministry says “On-arrival test is required. 3-day quarantine at a government-designated facility is required, however, those who obtain a valid vaccination certificate may have 7-day home quarantine (or 3-day home quarantine + negative result of a voluntary test) instead.”

Despite the relaxing of regulations, individual tourists will not yet be allowed entry to Japan. Instead, inbound travelers must be part of guided tour groups. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is yet to give specific details on the allowable itineraries or how much, if any, leeway there will be for independent movement outside of guided activities, but preparations to reopen international routes at Hokkaido’s New Chitose Airport and Okinawa’s Naha Airport next month suggest that Japan’s northernmost and southernmost prefectures are among potential tourism destinations.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, FNN Prime Online via Yahoo! News Japan via Jin, NHK News Web
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