November 2 – International travelers to Japan exceeded 200,000 in September
Slowly but surely, foreign visitors are returning to Japan. According to the Japan National Tourism Organization, 206,500 foreign tourists visited the nation in September.
The number has never exceeded 200,000 since the pandemic began. South Korea had the most visitors with 32,700, followed by Vietnam (30,900), the United States (18,000) and China (17,600).
Since March, the government has gradually relaxed border controls, resulting in a sharp increase in foreign tourists compared to 2021, when Japan’s borders were virtually sealed. Compared to September last year, the number of tourists has increased by more than 11 times.
October 13 – Japan reopens its borders, but hotels are understaffed and stores closed
Compared to a record 31.8 million tourists in 2019, only slightly more than 500,000 people have visited Japan so far in 2022.
The government’s goal, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said, is to generate 5 trillion yen (34.5 billion euros) in annual spending on tourists. But for a sector that has shrunk because of the pandemic, that goal may be too lofty.
Maria Satherley, a 70-year-old New Zealander, describes the Terminal 1 departure area as “like half a ghost town”
Most of the 260 stores and restaurants at Narita Airport, Japan’s largest international airport located about 70 kilometers from Tokyo, are closed.
September 29 – Japan to allow international tourists on Oct. 11
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stated that independent travelers will be welcomed back to Japan on Oct. 11. The daily cap on the number of tourists arriving will also be lifted on that day.
Travelers from around the world will be able to enter Japan with proof of triple vaccination or a negative COVID -19 test result. The country will not require a visa for short-term visitors from qualified countries, including the United States.
“I hope many people will utilize them,” Kishida said at a news conference. “I want to support the travel, entertainment, and other industries that have been struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.”
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