• Kyodo

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Japan and Malaysia agreed Friday they may ease coronavirus-related travel restrictions for expatriates in early September, if they take precautionary measures such as a 14-day self-quarantine period after entering their respective countries, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.

The agreement came at a meeting between Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and his Malaysian counterpart Hishammuddin Hussein in the suburbs of Kuala Lumpur.

Motegi told Hishammuddin that Japan will make efforts to receive Malaysian students sponsored by both governments at an early date, the ministry said.

Japan banned in principle foreign nationals from 146 countries and regions from entering but has started talks with 16 nations, including Malaysia, on pathways to a resumption of travel under strict precautionary measures against infection.

On Thursday, Japan and Singapore agreed to ease travel restrictions implemented in response to the pandemic from September, targeting businesspeople and expatriates, on the condition that they take measures to prevent infections.

During Friday’s meeting, Motegi and Hishammuddin also agreed to closely cooperate in responding to China’s maritime assertiveness in the East and South China seas, as well as North Korea’s past abductions of Japanese citizens.

Motegi also met with Mohamed Azmin Ali, Malaysia’s minister of international trade and industry, and agreed to work closely for Kuala Lumpur’s successful hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum this year.

After returning to Japan, Motegi will then visit Papua New Guinea, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar from next Thursday, returning on Aug. 25.

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