Japan to allow more airports to accept entrants from abroad
Japan plans to let more regional airports accept entrants from abroad, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Tuesday, amid the Asian country's gradual relaxation of strict border measures implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We will enable regional airports such as Sendai (in northeastern Japan) to resume accepting international flights, in consultation with local governments," Kishida said at his office.
Currently, international flights are limited to five airports in Japan – Haneda, Narita, Kansai, Chubu and Fukuoka – as part of COVID-19 restrictions.
Naha and New Chitose airports, popular transportation hubs to tourist spots in Okinawa and Hokkaido respectively, are scheduled to resume accepting international flights by the end of June.
The Japanese government also plans to announce guidelines on COVID-era inbound tourism for the travel industry on June 7, Kishida said, three days before the country resumes accepting tourists from overseas.
As the COVID-19 situation in Japan has been improving in recent weeks, the cap on daily arrivals from overseas is set to be raised Wednesday to 20,000 people from the current 10,000.
Since March, Japan has been gradually easing the COVID-19 rules, raising the daily cap on overseas arrivals to 10,000 people.
The country has given priority to foreign residents, business people, students and returning Japanese citizens among others, while prohibiting the entry of tourists.