After Japan reopened its borders for short-term business travellers and international students earlier this month, the Keidanren, also known as the Japanese Business Federation, has been lobbying for quarantine-free travel and less complicated paperwork.
On November 8, Japan has allowed the entry of foreign travellers, more specifically for short-term business travellers and international students, and the mandatory quarantine period for those visitors on business trips has been reduced from 10 days to 3 days.
While it was a welcome announcement for those who are waiting to gain entry to Japan since the onset of the pandemic, the Japanese business community calls for the full resumption of international travel as soon as possible citing that cases in Japan has dropped and the vaccination rate has surpassed 70%. Japan is the only G7 country that still imposes strict border restrictions.
Moreover, the business community expressed disappointment on the complicated paperwork for companies. Japan requires new visa holders entering Japan are required to have a designated representative from the host company take charge of a person’s coronavirus countermeasures.
The three-day quarantine requires several documents such as: proof of vaccination, a negative COVID-19 test upon arrival, an activity plan covering four to 10 days, and a written pledge guaranteeing that the person entering Japan is not carrying COVID-19. Lastly, final approval is needed by the appropriate ministry depending on the business category.
Keidanren claimed that the complex visa process discourages sponsoring companies from submitting the necessary paperwork.
Japan is currently preparing for the resumption of international tourism. Earlier this week, the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) opened its first office in Dubai and Mexico City in anticipation of welcoming foreign tourists back. These offices will target the Middle East and Latin America as more visitors are expected from these regions in the coming years.