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Lake Okutama, Japan (photo courtesy Gyro/iStock/Getty Images Plus)
officials announced that international travelers would no longer be forced to
deal with COVID-related border restrictions, starting on May 8.
According to Japan’s National
Tourism Organization, the country’s remaining coronavirus protocols will be
lifted next month, with arriving tourists no longer needing to present a valid vaccination
certificate or a COVID-19 negative test certificate.
Travelers heading to the island nation currently need to
show proof of full vaccination or a negative test conducted within 72 hours of
Japan has slowly reopened to international travel, first welcoming
individual travelers last year through guided tour companies, but several rule
changes led to confusion and stifled tourism’s rebound in the country.
In October, Japan reopened to visa-free
travel from dozens of countries around the world, eliminating its daily
entry cap on tourist arrivals and making it easier for visitors to plan their
Last month, Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare
also eliminated mask mandates, but still recommends travelers and locals wear
masks in appropriate situations, such as “crowded commuter trains and buses.”
In February, the country's leaders unveiled a plan to
achieve a 10
percent increase in overnight stays in regional areas of Japan by 2025. The
goals also include increased spending by those who visit the country with the
aim of reaching about $1,500 per person over the next two years.
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