|Above, the Godzilla mural at Toho Studios in Setagaya. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
Japan's prime minister is pledging that the country's border restrictions will be relaxed by next month.
It appears that the long two-year ban on foreign tourism in Japan may be coming to an end, perhaps in stages.
According to Bloomberg:
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said he would loosen Japan’s virus-related border controls in line with other wealthy democracies next month, as he sought to boost consumer spending to fight an economic slowdown.
Kishida credited the border controls with helping the country weather the pandemic relatively well, even as he announced their relaxation Thursday in a speech in the City of London. The premier told an audience at Guildhall that Japan would be as accessible as other Group of Seven countries by next month, when leaders of the bloc are due to meet in Germany.
Border easing would be welcomed by Japan’s tourism industry, which has been urging the government to allow in more overseas visitors to take advantage of the weakening yen. Until the pandemic, tourism was a rare bright spot for Japan’s economy as the number of foreign visitors expanded five-fold between 2011-19.
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