We know, we know. Waiting for Japan to fully reopen its borders has been a test of patience, to say the least. The country is taking an extremely cautious approach to ease its border restrictions, but we would like to be optimistic about the prospects of Japan welcoming tourists again soon.
While the government has pledged to make Japan as accessible as other G7 countries from June, we’re still waiting on a tangible roadmap that we can use to finally begin drafting travel plans. Bear with us – we’ll do our best to update you as quickly and accurately as possible on Japan’s reopening plans as more announcements are expected in the coming weeks.
In the meme time, here’s an ultra informal timeline of Japan’s border reopening scheme from January 2022 onwards. (You can find a more detailed rundown of Japan’s border rules here).
January 2022: Tokyo and several other prefectures in Japan are put under quasi-state of emergency. Majority of foreign non-residents have been unable to enter Japan since April 2020.
March 1 2022: Japan reopens to business travellers and foreign students, but remains closed to tourists.
March 21 2022: Japan lifts quasi-emergency measures, business establishments no longer asked to shorten operating hours.
April 2022: Government announces the lifting of entry ban of 106 countries, but tourists are still barred from visiting Japan.
May 2022: Japan’s tourism industry submits an official request to the government to reopen to tourists, noting Japan is one of the few remaining countries in the world still closed to foreign visitors.
Government announces plans to begin welcoming small group tours on a trial basis, and doubles daily entry cap to 20,000 overseas arrivals in June.
But these group tours will be limited to a group of 50 travellers for the time being.
July 2022: Parliamentary election. The New York Times reckons the government will have more leeway to ease border restrictions after this.
When Japan finally reopens its borders (soon, fingers crossed)...
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