National

Japan and New Zealand agree to discuss easing travel restrictions

Kyodo

Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi agreed with his New Zealand counterpart Winston Peters on Thursday to proceed with discussions on resuming travel between the two countries as the coronavirus pandemic begins to subside.

In a 15-minute telephone talk, the two “confirmed that preventing the spread of infection and achieving economic recovery are important for both countries,” according to Japan’s Foreign Ministry.

The ministry said they agreed to look at opening up their borders to the “necessary personnel” while taking “appropriate infection control measures.”

Japan has imposed an entry ban on 111 countries and regions, causing foreign visitors to slow to a trickle and dealing a heavy blow to its tourism and retail industries.

According to a government source, Japan is thinking about easing the restriction for four countries where the coronavirus outbreak has subsided — New Zealand along with Australia, Thailand and Vietnam — by allowing the entry of business visitors.

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