• Kyodo

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Japan lowered on Friday travel advisories issued for eight countries, including China and South Korea, plus Taiwan, as the pace of new coronavirus infections is slowing, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said.

Japan lowered travel alerts for infectious diseases for Australia, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, China, New Zealand, Brunei and Vietnam to Level 2 on its scale of four, requesting citizens avoid nonessential trips.

Japan had previously issued a Level 3 alert for those regions, warning citizens against all travel.

But for Myanmar and Jordan, Japan raised its travel advisories to Level 3, in light of an expansion in coronavirus cases, Motegi said. With the addition of the two countries, Japan has now issued Level 3 advisories for 152 countries and regions.

Separately, Motegi said Japan has lifted another set of travel advisories it had issued for all countries and regions in March in response to the pandemic.

Such advisories were issued uniformly to alert travelers to the possible risk of becoming stranded on foreign soil due to tightened border controls and the imposition of lockdowns.

“We will lift the travel alerts for all regions as regular international flights have started to resume,” Motegi said.

“But the alerts remain in place for Syria, Iraq and other regions where the security situation requires caution.”

Japan has been gradually rolling back the border restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus, as part of efforts to revive its economy.

Motegi said Japan and Vietnam have also agreed to restart reciprocal business travel from Sunday.

With the measure, travelers will no longer need to observe a 14-day quarantine upon arrival if they test negative for the coronavirus and turn in itineraries, among other preventive measures.

Vietnam became the third country with which Japan has resumed travel for people on short-term business trips, following Singapore and South Korea.

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