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Published: 12:03, September 12, 2022 | Updated: 14:27, September 12, 2022
Japan to waive tourist visa rules as part of border easing
By Agencies
Published:12:03, September 12, 2022 Updated:14:27, September 12, 2022 By Agencies

People wearing face masks shop at a mall in Yokohama, near Tokyo, June 23, 2020. (KOJI SASAHARA / FILE / AP)

TOKYO / SEOUL / MANILA / NEW DELHI / WELLINGTON- Japan's government is planning to waive tourist visa requirements from some countries as part of a further easing of border controls enacted to stop the spread of COVID-19, Fuji News Network reported on Monday.

Japan last week raised the daily ceiling of inbound travellers to 50,000 from 20,000 and eliminated a requirement for pre-departure COVID tests

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida may decide as early as this week on the easing, which would also allow individual travelers to visit Japan without travel agency bookings, FNN reported. Japan did not require tourist visas for 68 countries and regions before the pandemic.

ALSO READ: Myanmar speeds up COVID-19 measures amid virus spread

The government may scrap a daily cap on arrivals by October, the Nikkei newspaper reported on Sunday.

Deputy chief cabinet secretary Seiji Kihara said on a television program on Sunday that "a weak yen is most effective in attracting inbound tourism," adding that further steps must be taken to draw in foreign visitors. 

Japan last week raised the daily ceiling of inbound travelers to 50,000 from 20,000 and eliminated a requirement for pre-departure COVID tests, easing what have been among the most restrictive border measures among major economies.


India reported 5,221 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, bringing the total tally to 44,500,580.

With the reporting of fresh cases, India's active caseload currently stands at 47,176, showed data from the Indian health ministry.

The country also logged 15 more COVID-19 related deaths during the past 24 hours, taking the death toll to 528,165 since the beginning of the pandemic, the ministry said.

Currently, the daily positivity rate stands at 2.82 percent and the weekly positivity rate is recorded at 1.72 percent, the ministry data showed.

According to the ministry, so far 43,925,239 COVID-19 patients have been cured and discharged from hospitals in the South Asian country, including 5,975 new recoveries.

People return to shopping at Newmarket in Auckland, New Zealand as some COVID-19 restrictions were eased, Nov 10, 2021. (ALEX BURTON / NEW ZEALAND HERALD VIA AP)

New Zealand

New Zealand recorded 1,149 new community cases of COVID-19 and six more deaths from the pandemic, the Ministry of Health said on Monday.

The country has seen the number of daily cases going down steadily from over 10,000 cases nationwide in early July.

With the fresh cases, New Zealand has reported 1,743,233 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 1,950 COVID-19-related deaths since the pandemic hit the country in early 2020, the ministry said.

Currently, 225 COVID-19 patients are being treated in hospitals in the country, including three in intensive care units or high dependency units, showed official data.

In this file photo taken on Aug 20, 2020, medical workers in a booth take samples from people for COVID-19 tests at a makeshift clinic in Seoul, South Korea. (AHN YOUNG-JOON / AP)

South Korea

South Korea reported 36,938 new COVID-19 cases as of midnight Sunday compared to 24 hours ago, raising the total number of infections to 24,041,825, the health authorities said Monday.

The daily caseload was up from 28,214 the prior day, but was lower than 37,530 tallied a week ago, according to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency.

For the past week, the daily average number of confirmed cases was 62,183.

Among the new cases, 202 were imported, lifting the total to 62,030.

The number of infected people who were in a serious condition stood at 553, up 21 from the previous day.

Twenty-two more deaths were confirmed, leaving the death toll at 27,498. The total fatality rate was 0.11 percent.

Health workers conduct COVID-19 swab tests on residents at a village in Quezon City, the Philippines, on May 31, 2021. (AARON FAVILA / AP)


The Philippines reported 2,230 new COVID-19 infections on Sunday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 3,906,269.

The Department of Health said the number of active cases dropped to 25,684, while 16 more patients died from COVID-19 complications, taking the coronavirus death toll to 62,304.

Metro Manila, the capital region with over 13 million people, tallied 1,056 new cases.

The country, with a population of around 110 million, has fully vaccinated over 72.7 million people.

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