China suspends issuing visas for Japanese travelers

The coronavirus is rapidly spreading in China. And, travelers from there are facing restrictions imposed by multiple countries. Those include Japan and South Korea. Beijing is now hitting back with its own. It has suspended issuing certain visas to people from both countries.

Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa said, " We are implementing measures at our entry points but taking every possible precaution to ensure that the international flow of people is not stopped. It is extremely regrettable that China is restricting the issuance of visas for reasons other than coronavirus countermeasures."

China announced the new entry restrictions on Tuesday.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin said, "Regrettably, a handful of countries, in disregard of science, facts and their actual epidemic situation, have insisted on taking discriminatory entry restriction measures targeting China. China firmly rejects this and will take reciprocal measures."

Japan now requires travelers from mainland China to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result from within 72 hours before departure. It is also planning similar measures for people arriving from Macao starting Thursday.