Saturday’s Asahi covered remarks made at the Diet on Friday by Foreign Minister Motegi. He reportedly said the ongoing ban on international travel to and from Japan may be gradually eased when the domestic coronavirus situation is brought under control. He suggested that restrictions on essential travel, such as business trips, should be relaxed first, followed by sightseeing and nonessential travel. Although China and South Korea have been proposing to Japan since March the idea of resuming business travel, the Japanese side has rejected their proposals. The paper added that PCR diagnostic testing at ports of entry must be expanded before foreign travelers can be allowed to enter again.
Meanwhile, Sunday’s Yomiuri wrote that China and South Korea have sounded out Japan on the idea of easing their respective travel regulations to allow travel to each other’s countries for business purposes if travelers obtain government-issued “COVID-19-free” certificates ahead of their departure and receive negative results in PCR testing administered by the host country at their ports of entry. Tokyo is reportedly taking a cautious approach to the proposal.
Monday’s Mainichi claimed that the GOJ is considering allowing international travel to and from about ten nations, including China, South Korea, and the U.S., in the near future. Restrictions on travel for business and research purposes will be lifted in a phased manner while taking into account the state of COVID-19 infection in those countries.