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Japan scraps controls, hopes to revive tourism boom


TOKYO, Oct 11 (NHK) - Japan is reintroducing a visa waiver program for short-term visitors, and allowing visits by non-escorted individual tourists, as the country lifts most of its COVID-19 border controls. Japan's tourism industry was booming in pre-pandemic years.

In June, Japan reopened its doors to foreign tourists for the first time in about two years. In addition, the cap on arrivals was raised to 20,000 visitors a day. But visas were limited to those booked on registered package tours and accompanied by guides.

Foreign tourists have been slow to return. In June, 252 people visited Japan. The number increased to 7,903 in July, and 10,826 in August.

Tourism industry officials say western nationals' preference for non-escorted trips may be a factor. The officials also say many are reluctant to go through a cumbersome process to get a visa.

In September, the government again raised the daily cap on arrivals to 50,000, and began allowing in tourists on non-escorted tours. ...continue reading

Oct 11 (ANNnewsCH) - 11日から日本で、新型コロナウイルスの水際対策が緩和されることを受け、10日、タイの空港には、日本行きのフライトを楽しみにするタイの人たちの姿がありました。  ...continue reading

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