Narita Airport shops have high hopes for return of foreign tourists

Shops at Narita Airport, near Tokyo, are looking forward to a recovery in sales after Japan eased anti-coronavirus border controls and reopened to foreign tourists for the first time in about two years.

Japan began accepting guided package tours on Friday from 98 countries and regions deemed as having the lowest risk of coronavirus infection. The countries include the United States, South Korea and China.

No foreign tourists arrived at the airport on Friday morning, as they likely needed time to obtain visas.

Sales at duty-free shops have dropped more than 90 percent from pre-pandemic levels.

An official of NAA Retailing, which operates the shops, said the company suffered for two years because of the coronavirus. He said sales depend on foreign tourists, so he has high expectations for the border reopening. He said the shops are making preparations so that visitors can enjoy shopping.