Japan doubling arrival number, further easing coronavirus border controls

Japan is more than doubling the number of daily arrivals as a further easing of its coronavirus entry restrictions.

Starting on Wednesday, the cap on daily arrivals to Japan is raised to 50,000 from 20,000.

All arrivals, including Japanese nationals, are exempt from submitting proof of a negative coronavirus test if they've received their third vaccine shot.

All foreign tourists are allowed to travel in Japan without guides. That replaces the rule stipulating only tourists from designated countries and territories are allowed to enter Japan, and they are required to join escorted tours.

The government said it aims to strike a balance between infection prevention measures and social and economic activities.

Prime Minister Kishida Fumio earlier expressed his hope to further relax measures to the same levels as other Group of Seven countries. He said he would make a decision after assessing infection situations in and out of the country as well as needs and border control measures taken by other countries.

The government plans to consider raising the entry cap on arrivals even higher, and further easing restrictions on foreign nationals.