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Report from Tokyo. Considering that Tom Cruise, Kanye West, and members of K-pop group Super Junior are all cast in the same film, it may appear like they have nothing in common. Several international musicians have recently arrived in Japan because of the strict border barrier there.

When it comes to determining which foreigners are safe and which are still seen as a potential liability, Japan’s gradual re-opening has been brought into stark relief by their high-profile appearances around the city.

It has so far been allowed only a few international students and foreign workers as well as some of their relatives. This month, group trips will resume, but individual tourism will not.

The small-scale tourism trial in Japan will allow 50 international visitors.

In May, hundreds of music enthusiasts from the United States and South Korea travelled to meet their favourite performers who were in town on business. During the same month, a small number of tourists were allowed into the facility for a trial run.

That experimental tour was called off after a Thai tourist tested positive for coronavirus and infected three others. The purpose of the trial run was to get Japan ready to welcome group tours from 98 different nations on June 10. According to Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno, the favourable results from the Thai tour group will have no impact on those reopening plans.

Group of Seven main economies, as well as bordering nations in the Asia-Pacific region, have all fully re-opened their borders to overseas visitors as covid instances have decreased.

However, critics have equated Japan’s isolationist tactics from the early 1600s to 1850s to the epidemic closure. Japan’s reopening has been widely criticised by business and tourism leaders in recent weeks for being too cautious and damaging to the country’s economy and global image.

For years, Japan’s blanket restriction on entrance “imposed serious economic and human costs,” according to Om Prakash, president of the American Chamber of Commerce.

As he put it, “It set back efforts to rebuild the economy, attract overseas students, and promote Japan as an investment and tourist destination in Japan.” “The government should work fast to eliminate remaining entry restrictions, let in more tourists, and let them enjoy our magnificent nation freely to kick-start the economy and restore Japan’s reputation as a friendly and open place.”

There has been a steady reduction in the number of coronavirus cases in Japan since the omicron variety peaked earlier this year. In Tokyo, a 14-million-person metropolis, there were 2,362 new cases reported on Tuesday. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Tuesday that the administration wants to implement measures to increase the number of foreigners allowed in the country.

Kishida stated that some international flights would resume at selected airports, but he did not provide a timetable for when the measures would be implemented. Japan’s weak yen has a significant impact on tourism, he said, citing the return of inbound visitors.

Japan said on Wednesday that it will accept short-term visas for additional relatives and spouses of foreign residents in Japan, although details were unclear at the time of this writing.

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