Japan is planning to exempt businesspeople entering Japan for a 72-hour or shorter stay from the country's quarantine requirements provided they follow certain COVID-19 precautions, government sources said Thursday.
Japan aims to start accepting such business travelers from countries and regions with which it has deep economic ties, such as China, South Korea and Taiwan, possibly from November. The step is aimed at lifting the economy battered by the coronavirus pandemic by helping international business activities to resume.
"There are many business trips and negotiations that can comfortably be completed within 72 hours. We hope to return to normal as soon as possible while giving attention to (preventing) the spread of infections," said a source at the prime minister's office.
The government will select countries eligible for the exemption based on their respective coronavirus situations, and plans to gradually expand the scope.
Japan has already agreed to similar arrangements for business travel to and from Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam under conditions including virus-testing and limiting places that can be visited. Such requirements would also be in place under the expanded system, the sources said.
The latest measure is different from the "business track" framework with those three countries in that it is one-way, only covering arrivals from other countries.