• Kyodo

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Japan and Cambodia agreed Saturday to reopen borders to their expatriates as early as next month on condition they self-quarantine for 14 days and take other precautions against the novel coronavirus.

Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi agreed on the policy with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen during a meeting in Phnom Penh, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

It is the third such agreement Japan has struck this month as Tokyo looks for ways to gradually relax immigration restrictions imposed on nearly 150 countries to slow the pandemic. The other two deals were reached with Singapore and Malaysia.

Motegi aims to clinch similar travel resumption agreements with Laos and Myanmar, which he will visit on the final two stops of his four-nation tour through Tuesday. Before Cambodia, he was in Papua New Guinea.

He also told the prime minister that Japan is prepared to allow the entry of Cambodian students sponsored by the Japanese government at an early date, according to the ministry.

In addition to bilateral affairs, they discussed the situations in the South China Sea and North Korea, agreeing to maintain close cooperation on those issues, the ministry said.

Motegi also held talks separately with his Cambodian counterpart Prak Sokhonn, who doubles as deputy prime minister. The two agreed to speed up talks toward easing entry restrictions for short-term business travelers, it said.

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