Nikkei reported that the GOJ has asked airline companies to restrict the number of passengers on international flights bound for Japan to prevent the further infiltration of new strains of the novel coronavirus. JAL and ANA were reportedly asked to limit the number of Japan-bound travelers to 3,400 per week, while foreign airlines were requested to impose a cap of 100 per flight. About 3,000 passengers per day have recently been arriving at Haneda and Narita Airports on flights operated by the two domestic carriers, and foreign operators have been allowed to transport as many as 300 passengers per flight. As people arriving from countries where the emerging variants are widespread are required to quarantine for three days at predesignated hotels near the two airports, the shortage of such facilities is becoming acute on account of the steady increase in the number of international travelers.
In a related story, Yomiuri wrote that the GOJ will allow foreign members of local professional baseball and soccer teams to enter Japan when the COVID-19 state of emergency is lifted. Selected athletes will be accepted in accordance with a provision of the Immigration Control Law that permits the entry of international travelers under “extraordinary circumstances.”