Japan likely to relax travel restrictions on foreign tourists to lift economy

Tokyo: Japanese officials may further relax border controls for foreign travellers as a way to boost its economy, local reports say.

Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara told local TV a weak yen was “most effective in attracting inbound tourism”.

The yen slid to its lowest point against the US dollar in 24 years last week, dropping as much as 1.7 percent.

He said a cap on daily entries could be lifted in the “not so distant future”.

Japan has barred most foreign visitors for the last two years amid measures to slow the spread of Covid.

Last year, overseas visitors were even banned from the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

However earlier this month the number of foreign tourists allowed to enter the country was raised to 50,000 per day from 20,000, and tourists were no longer required to travel with a guide.

Other reports suggest the government may scrap the daily cap on arrivals altogether.

The US dollar has gained strength against other currencies as investors keep a watchful eye on the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes.

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