China issuing more visas to Japanese hoping for post-virus rebound
Kyodo -- Jun 04
The Chinese government has stepped up the number of visas being issued to Japanese citizens after limiting it for months following the coronavirus pandemic, a diplomatic source familiar with bilateral ties said Wednesday.

The move is apparently aimed at bringing business exchanges between the two countries back to normal, the source said, adding China has recently issued visas to Japanese people entering Shanghai and Guangdong Province.

In China, most companies have resumed operations with the number of infections decreasing, but many Japanese citizens working in the nation have been stranded in their home country as China has restricted the entry of foreigners for the past two months.

With the absence of Japanese staff affecting operations at Japan-related companies in China, Beijing may start giving preference to Japanese businesspeople when issuing visas to shore up the economy hit hard by the spread of the virus.

But it is expected to take some time for the families of such businesspeople as well as Japanese tourists to be able to enter China, given that flights between the countries are likely to remain limited for the foreseeable future.

A large number of workers and their families went back to Japan for the weeklong Lunar New Year holidays that began Jan. 24 and extended their stays to evaluate the situation as fears about the outbreak in China lingered in February.

In late March, the Chinese Foreign Ministry abruptly announced that it would temporarily stop allowing foreigners to enter the nation to prevent imported infection cases. The measure applies even to those who hold a valid visa or residence permit.

Applications for business visas and some specific cases, however, have been permitted amid the travel ban.

News source: Kyodo
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