Japan Airlines Airbus A350 900. Image supplied by Japan Airlines.
Japan Airlines Airbus A350 900. Image supplied by Japan Airlines.

Japan will now allow its residents to travel to 106 formerly restricted countries. However, tourists are still prohibited from entering the country.


More options for Japanese travellers

The Japanese government released a statement yesterday that will lift the entry ban on 106 countries. The island state has enforced stringent travel and border policies throughout the pandemic with the aim of reducing the spread of Covid. Japan only started easing these restrictions at the start of last month.

ANA olympic livery
Japanese airline ANA sporting Olympic livery | © ANA

Countries on the list include the UK, France and the US, all of which will be accessible to Japanese travellers from Friday. The change comes after the Foreign Ministry lowered the alert level on 106 countries on 1 April. The Foreign Ministry rates all country’s disease risks from 1(low) to 4(high). Any country assigned a three or higher is automatically banned from visiting Japan, and vice versa.


How does this affect tourists?

Whilst the new rules will allow Japanese nationals to visit new locations, they do not extend to enable citizens of the 106 countries to visit Japan. Tourists are still prohibited from entering the country.

“In reality, there will be no change to who can enter Japan,”

a Justice Ministry official commented, adding:

“There won’t be anyone new who will be able to enter Japan as a result of this change.”

Only foreign students, researchers, and business travellers have been able to enter the country since 1 March, when Japan eased its border controls. However, Tourists are still prohibited and have been since the Island first closed its shores in April 2020.

In addition to the regulations on who can visit Japan, there is also a hard limit of 7,000 overseas arrivals per day. The government has said this limit will be raised to 10,000 a day from Monday. With the rules gradually being relaxed, it may not be long before travellers can holiday in Japan again.


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