Japan to Fully Reopen October 11

After more than two and a half years of various levels of border closures due to COVID-19, Japan will fully reopen for visa-free individual travel on October 11, 2022. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said in New York, according to Nikkei Asia, "We will remove the cap on the number of people entering the country, and will resume accepting individual travel and visa-free travel.”

What this means: From October 11, short-term visitors will no longer need to apply for tourist visas, nor will there be a limit to the number of visitors per day that Japan will accept. The need to book through a tour operator or agency will also no longer be required.

Earlier this month, Japan made it slightly easier to visit the country, scrapping the need for a negative COVID test prior to arrival (for all travelers with at least three vaccine shots) and increasing the cap on daily visitors to the country from 20,000 to 50,000.

Julia Simpson, president and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council, said in a statement: “After more than two years of closed borders, WTTC welcomes the news from the Japanese government that it will open the borders from early next month. Both leisure and business travelers have missed visiting this wonderful country.

“Before the pandemic struck, travel and tourism contributed 7.1 percent to the nation’s GDP, showing just how important the revival of international travel will be, not only to the economy, but to jobs up and down the country.”

The Nikkei Asia report also noted that the Japanese yen is hovering at a 24-year low. As the country reopens, the government is hoping to boost the economy through the added in-bound tourism.

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