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Japan to lift daily tourist cap, waive visa for select countries in October

By Rayven Daligcon Published Sep 17, 2022 9:00 am

In a bid to revive its tourism industry, Japan is eyeing to lift its daily tourist cap and visa requirement for select countries in October.

The news, first reported by Nikkei Asia, comes a week after Japan increased its daily inbound travel cap from 20,000 to 50,000, as well as eliminated the need for pre-departure COVID tests for incoming tourists.

The reported new guidelines, meanwhile, will allow short-term tourists from the United States and a few other nations to enter the country without visa and scrap its daily tourist admittance cap.  

As the purchasing power of individuals with dollars continues to increase, the Japanese government is aiming to increase its economic growth by easing travel restrictions, especially for foreign tourists. The move is also fueled by the yen dipping to a 24-year low against the dollar due to a hawkish U.S. Federal Reserve.

For the first time in two years, Japan officially opened its borders to tourists in June. However, Reuters reported that barely 8,000 people visited through July, down from more than 80,000 daily before the pandemic.  

Japan Airlines Co. (9201.T) executive Koji Masumura stated that although travel bookings have grown since the softening was announced last month, a full recovery will be delayed as long as foreigners are still required to obtain visas in order to enter the nation. 

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is expected to make a formal announcement about the reforms in the coming days.