Taiwan and Japan agree to re-open borders for business travelers

New reciprocal policy to take effect in early September: report

(Pixabay photo)

(Pixabay photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan and Japan will mutually allow the entry of business travelers starting in early September after months of travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Japan hopes to both prevent the spread of the coronavirus and recover business activities,” stated Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi on Tuesday morning (Sept. 1). According to Kyodo News, the new policy will take effect on Sept. 8.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) confirmed the information later that morning. It said the agreement with Japan is the first such deal that Taiwan has made with a foreign government since the pandemic forced countries around the world to close their borders earlier this year, adding that it sends a positive signal about the country’s exchanges with the international community in the post-COVID era.

According to MOFA, both Taiwanese and Japanese authorities began negotiations in late July on easing their travel restrictions. The two countries have agreed to resume business travel first in hopes of boosting economic activities.

MOFA said those who wish to make business trips to Japan after the new policy is implemented ought to apply for a visa with the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association. Applicants will be asked to undergo a PCR test 72 hours prior to their departure and undergo a 14-day quarantine upon arrival.

Japanese who plan to visit Taiwan on business trips are also required to go through the same quarantine measures, according to Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center.

Japan will also re-open its borders for long-term residents arriving from Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, and Myanmar starting from Sept. 8. It currently has travel restrictions on 159 countries and regions around the world, including the U.S., China, and Europe.