Japanese Prime Minister Kishida has confirmed Japan will re-open to visa-free travel from October 11th 2022
Japanese PM Fumio Kishida announced in New York late last night that Japan will resume visa-free entry for individual travelers on 11th October 2022! This finally brings Japan's border rules close to pre-pandemic norms for the first time in about two and a half years.
"We will remove the cap on the number of people entering the country, and will resume accepting individual travel and visa-free travel," Kishida said.
At present Japan only allows package tours, and requires visas for all visitors, in an effort to control the spread of COVID-19. Daily arrivals have been capped at 50,000 but this strict stance has made the country more and more of an outlier compared to other countries and popular tourist destinations.
So from 11th October short-term visitors will no longer be required to apply for tourist visas. Before the pandemic, Japan allowed visa-free short-term travel from people from 68 countries and regions, such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong and the USA. Coupled with the fact there is no longer a need to book tours through travel agencies, it is expected that there will be a major boom in international visitation.
The government clearly hopes to boost the economy through inbound tourism, taking advantage of the weak yen. The currency is hovering around 24-year lows, touching 145 per dollar at one point, which makes Japan an even more attractive destination for international travelers.