Thursday, 02 February 2023 09:29

China to end retaliatory ban on tourists from Japan

TOKYO, Japan: In a statement posted on the website of the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo, Beijing announced that it will again issue visas for Japanese travelers beginning this week, ending its nearly three-week suspension after Tokyo tightened COVID-19 entry requirements for Chinese tourists.

On 10th January, China stopped issuing new visas for Japanese travelers, in retaliation for the requirement of additional testing for Chinese tourists entering Japan in late December, prior to the Lunar New Year holidays.

Japan cited soaring infections in China and a lack of COVID-19 data from Beijing.

After Seoul, in early January, imposed testing on short-term travelers from China, Beijing also stopped issuing visas to South Koreans.

Last week, South Korea said it would maintain the testing requirements through the end of February, due to concerns that the spread of COVID-19 in China may worsen after the Lunar New Year.

While Chinese health authorities said infections have peaked, there are still concerns that Beijing was not sharing enough Covid data with other countries.

In Japan, the latest wave of Covid infections seems to be subsiding, with confirmed daily cases falling to some 20 percent of the peak in early January.