22nd September 2022 – (Tokyo) Japan will resume visa-free entry for individual travellers on 11th October, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced Thursday in New York, bringing its border rules close to pre-pandemic norms for the first time in about two and a half years.
At present Japan only allows package tours, and requires visas for all visitors, in an effort to control the spread of COVID-19. But this has made the country more and more of an outlier, as most other economies have fully reopened to tourists.
Starting on 11th October, visitors that were exempt from visa requirements before the pandemic will no longer be required to apply for tourist visas. And with no need to book tours through travel agencies, it will be easier to visit.
The Japanese government hopes to boost the economy through inbound tourism, taking advantage of the weak yen. The currency is hovering around 24-year lows, touching 145 per dollar at one point, which makes Japan a more attractive destination for international travelers.
Before COVID-19, Japan accepted a record 31.8 million visitors in 2019, making it one of the most popular destinations in Asia.
Thanks to its cultural resources and airport infrastructure, Japan ranked No. 1 on the World Economic Forum’s latest Travel & Tourism Development Index, released in May.
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