Japan has no plan for now to resume the entry of foreign tourists to the country, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Friday, as it has been bracing for a possible resurgence of the coronavirus.
"No specific schedule has been decided," Kishida said at a press conference, adding the government will make a judgment after looking at the COVID-19 infection situation and border control steps taken by other nations.
Japan, which has gradually relaxed its strict border controls, will allow up to 10,000 entrants a day, including businesspeople, students, and returning Japanese nationals and foreign residents, starting Sunday.
It also lifted Friday its entry ban on nonresident foreign nationals from 106 countries including Britain, India and the United States.
But Kishida has warned that Japan is seeing signs of a coronavirus resurgence, calling for the public to cooperate in stemming the spread by taking thorough prevention measures, getting tested for the virus and receiving COVID-19 vaccine booster shots as early as possible.
On Friday, around 52,000 new infections were reported across Japan, increasing from a week earlier for the 14th consecutive day.
Tokyo reported 8,112 new cases, with those in their 20s accounting for 22 percent of them, the highest among all age groups.
Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike stressed at a press conference the importance of younger people getting vaccinated to "break the chain of infection."
Only 25.6 percent of those in their 20s in Tokyo had received their third COVID-19 vaccine booster shots as of Tuesday, compared with 44.4 percent for the capital's entire population, according to the metropolitan government.
To encourage vaccinations, the metropolitan government has begun offering coupons and prizes to fully vaccinated individuals, including giving a higher chance to win in a lottery to see twin giant pandas born last year at the Ueno Zoological Gardens.