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Japan on Tuesday opened its borders to nonresident foreign nationals who are entering the nation for purposes other than tourism — the first time such entries have been allowed on a general basis in more than three months — giving a ray of hope to those who are eagerly waiting to come to the country for study, research and business.

But it may be a while before airports such as Haneda, Narita and Kansai are flooded with new arrivals, since Japan still has a cap of 5,000 people allowed to enter the nation every day — bumped up from 3,500 on Tuesday — which includes returning Japanese nationals and foreign residents.

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