Along with Japan's daily arrival cap having been raised to 20,000, foreign nationals wishing to visit relatives who live in the country are now allowed in, along with those engaged to residents or in common-law marriages.

The latest change represents a big step forward for the foreign community in Japan, members of which have only recently been able to be visited by limited types of relatives, with all such arrivals blocked in principle for the vast majority of the pandemic.

On Wednesday, the government expanded the list of people allowed in under “special exceptional circumstances” to include visits by extended family members to any resident. Under the Civil Code, relatives are defined as a spouse, blood relatives within the sixth degree of kinship and in-laws within the third degree of kinship.