Japan will lift its entry ban on nonresident foreign nationals from 106 countries including Britain, India and the United States starting from Friday, the government said, as part of procedures to gradually ease COVID-19 restrictions.
The policy change, however, will not drastically change Japan’s pandemic-induced strict border controls, as it will continue to suspend the validity of visas issued before Dec. 2 except for diplomats, spouses of Japanese nationals and permanent residents, among others.
Visas will not be issued, in principle, unless those seeking to enter Japan fall under “exceptional circumstances,” such as visits to those who are seriously ill or for funerals. Foreign tourists remain banned from entering Japan.
Of the 106 subject to the change, announced by the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday, the list includes Asian countries such as Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, the Philippines and Thailand as…