According to reports, Japan PM will increase arrivals caps and cut quarantine times. This comes as a response to criticism that tight measures are exacerbating the ongoing labor crisis.
Japan will relax its rigorous border controls starting next month, according to media sources. This comes following an outcry from students, workers, and family members who have been effectively “shut out” of the nation for up to two years,
The limitations, which only allow Japanese citizens and returning foreign residents to enter the country, have impacted 150,000 students. Politicians and business leaders claimed that the prohibition is harming the country’s economy and worldwide reputation.
Japan temporarily eased the rules last year before tightening them again in November.
This attempt aims to limit the spread of the extremely dangerous Omicron version of the coronavirus,
However, the opening would be gradual and will not apply to tourists. Fumio Kishida, Japan’s prime minister, will announce an increase in daily arrivals from 3,500 to 5,000 persons. Furthermore, he addressed a reduction in quarantine from a week to three days. This is only for people with a negative test result and confirmation of a booster shot, later on Thursday.
“We are considering how to ease the border control measures by taking into account scientific evidence that has become available regarding the Omicron strain and the changing infection situations at home and abroad,” the chief cabinet secretary, Hirokazu Matsuno, said, according to the Kyodo news agency.
Prior to the upper house elections in July, Kishida had been hesitant to loosen the measures. The decision came due to its popularity with the public.
However, industry leaders have pressed him. They claimed that the limits amount to a “seclusion policy” that will exacerbate Japan’s chronic labor crisis. A member of Kishida’s own party claimed that the prohibition was unnecessary because Omicron had become Japan’s dominant strain.