If sushi and sake are on your mind, you may be getting the news you’ve waited two years for. While Japan has been closed off to international tourists due to the pandemic, a new announcement could be changing that. Pack your bags for the far East summer trip; Japan may be reopening to international tourists beginning in June.
Japan Announcing Plans to Reopen this Summer
At the moment, only approved travelers and workers can enter Japan and must still provide a negative coronavirus test. They must fill out the necessary health forms and acknowledge the country’s COVID-19 rules and regulations within 24 hours. However, the Prime Minister of Japan announced that the country is considering a goal to reopen to international tourists in June.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida spoke at an event in London. He revealed Japan is considering options to ease border control protocols next month to align with other G7 nations. The G7 nations (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States) have reopened. Kishida said Japan has “eased border control measures significantly.” He continued and committed to “introduce a smoother entry process similar to that of other G7 members.”
Tourism Industry Responds to the News
Even without exact dates for a reopening, the tourism industry in Japan has a legitimate reason for excitement. Simply the announcement of the process moving forward can boost the industry. Tour operator Simon King said the reopening is “something we have waited over two years for and something that can’t come soon enough.”
Tourism contributed $359 billion to Japan’s GDP in 2019, making it the world’s third-largest tourism market. Only the United States and China receive more money via tourism, but Japan hopes to return to with a summer reopen. With the announcement that Japan will follow the rest of G7, the world takes one more step toward normalcy.