Japan PM Kishida to brief about new measures for handling COVID – Kyodo

By Thomson Reuters Aug 23, 2022 | 9:23 PM

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will hold a briefing on Wednesday on new measures to handle COVID-19, the Kyodo news agency reported.

Kishida is expected to announce the easing of border measures, including a waiver of pre-departure COVID tests for vaccinated inbound passengers and an increase in the number of daily arrivals.

The briefing is expected at 0430 GMT, Kyodo said.

Japan has some of the strictest pandemic border measures among major economies, requiring travellers to present a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours of departure.

The government may soon waive tests for vaccinated passengers, with the change taking effect in a few weeks, Nikkei reported late Monday. A daily cap of inbound travellers may be raised from 20,000 to 50,000 as early as next month, Fuji News Network said on Tuesday.

Kishida, who is recuperating from COVID at his official residence after testing positive on Sunday, said in May that he wanted to bring Japan’s border measures more in line with those of other Group of Seven nations.

Japan in June opened up to tourists for the first time in two years, but requirements that they apply for visas and stick to guided, package tours have kept actual numbers of inbound visitors small.

(Reporting by Rocky Swift; Editing by Tom Hogue)