Japan considers limited resumption of inbound tourism from spring, report says

Japan Times -- Dec 07
Japan’s government is considering the resumption of inbound tourism on a limited basis from the spring as Tokyo prepares to host a delayed summer Olympics, the Asahi newspaper reported on Sunday.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s administration is leaning toward allowing small tour groups from Asian countries where coronavirus infections are well under control, such as China and Taiwan, the Asahi reported without citing sources.

Japanese government officials did not return calls seeking comment.

Suga’s government has launched a subsidy program to revive domestic tourism, a key driver of economic growth in recent years, but the policy has been criticized because Japan is struggling with a third wave of coronavirus infections.

New cases have spiked to record highs in Tokyo and Osaka. The number of serious cases nationwide has also risen to a record.

Under the new plan, tourists would have to test negative for the coronavirus and submit a detailed travel itinerary before entering, the Asahi said. They would travel only by hired vehicles and would be separated from other customers at their hotels and sightseeing destinations, it said.

- Japan Times