Japanese tourism industry calls for borders to reopen to tourists


On May 12, a group of officials from the Japanese tourism industry submitted a formal request to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism to reopen Japan’s borders to foreign tourists. According to NHK, the groups presenting the written request included the Japan Association of Travel Agents, the Japan Hotel Association and JR Group, along with other major transport companies. 

In their written request, the parties call for Japan to scrap its daily entry cap altogether and for the foreign ministry to lower its Covid-19 warning level. The document also highlights that Japan is one of the few countries in the world that remains closed to tourists and that allowing the entry ban to drag on could cause travellers to lose interest in ever visiting Japan. 

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has already announced plans to ease border restrictions next month so that Japan can be as accessible as other G7 countries, but the lack of a concrete roadmap has left many people feeling anxious. 

Beyond those working in the tourism sectors, a number of Japanese politicians concerned about the economy are urging the government to reopen borders completely for the sake of economic recovery. This includes the governor of Miyagi Prefecture, Yoshihiro Murai, who stated at a press conference on May 9 that Japan should show reciprocity in its border rules considering the number of Japanese nationals who travelled abroad during the Golden Week holidays.  

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