While earlier the Japanese government had announced the country’s reopening would be limited to travellers from the U.S., Australia, Thailand and Singapore, yesterday it updated that announcement with word that 98 countries would be included on the green-light list.

The caveat is that travellers must be part of pre-packaged tour groups. But after more than two years of pandemic closures, it’s a big step forward, and very positive news for travel companies in Canada selling package trips to Japan.

JNTO President Seino Satoshi issued a statement in the wake of the reopening news.

“Despite the pandemic, we have worked with people in inbound tourism to prepare for its recovery. We will welcome the return of international tourists to Japan as the first step in the recovery of inbound tourism,” he said.

“I wholeheartedly welcome the accelerated pace at which the international community is preparing for the recovery of travel for tourism purposes. The government has announced a policy on Japan initiating action to join that effort. I take this as a first step toward the recovery of inbound tourism to Japan.

“JNTO is working with local governments and DMOs in Japan, as well as domestic and foreign travel agencies, airlines, and other organizations, to prepare for the resumption of inbound travel. In anticipation of major international events, such as the UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism in December of this year, the Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS) in 2023, and Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, we will step up our efforts to release information on tourism.”

He added that the JNTO plans to roll out promotions in light of Japan’s updated policy on accepting inbound visitors.

More information is at the JNTO’S website, found here, plus click here for the JNTO’s ‘COVID-19: Practical Information for Travelling to Japan.

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