Sunday’s Yomiuri took up the disclosure by several GOJ sources that in response to growing calls from the business community, the Abe administration is considering resuming in July or later travel between Japan and Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, and Thailand, all nations in which the coronavirus has largely been contained. Regarding proposals from China and South Korea to resume travel between Japan and those nations for business purposes on the condition that travelers submit documents certifying that they are free of the virus at their ports of entry, the GOJ is reportedly still cautious because the U.S. might react strongly if Tokyo eases its restrictions for China at this stage. The GOJ is also reportedly concerned about allowing South Koreans to enter Japan in view of the recent series of cluster infections there.
Today’s Asahi ran a similar article, noting that travelers from Australia and the three other countries may be allowed to enter Japan for business purposes if they present documents from their home governments certifying that they are free of the virus and then test negative in PCR tests administered at their ports of entry. While they may be allowed to visit their business associates once in Japan, they will be discouraged from using public transportation.
In a related story, Saturday’s Asahi wrote that the GOJ expert panel on the coronavirus is extremely reluctant to relax the ongoing international travel restrictions based on the assessment that the “resumption of travel between Japan and foreign countries could trigger another outbreak in Japan.”
Meanwhile, Asahi separately reported on an announcement by Greece on Friday that it will lift its restrictions on foreign tourists from Japan, China, and 27 other nations beginning on June 15. International flights between these countries and two airports in Greece will be resumed as a result. The daily added that the GOJ has designated Greece as “Level 3” country, advising Japanese citizens to avoid travel there because of the coronavirus.