Japan relaxes restrictions on travel to Taiwan, South Korea, China

Japanese government continues to warn against nonessential travel to Taiwan, 8 other countries in tier 2 areas

Tokyo's Narita International Airport in April 2020 

Tokyo's Narita International Airport in April 2020  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Japanese citizens are now allowed to travel to nine countries in the Asia Pacific, including Taiwan, South Korea, and China, the Japanese government announced Friday (Oct. 30).

The list of countries announced by Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu also includes Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Singapore, and Brunei. Positive developments in the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in those countries and economic needs were the key drivers for the government's decision, CNA reported.

However, under Japan's four-tier warning system, Taiwan and the eight other nations are still listed in the second tier as destinations that should be avoided unless travel is absolutely necessary or urgent.

Previously, they had been included in the third tier with about 150 other countries Japanese travelers were advised to stay away from.

In the other direction, visitors from Vietnam will be allowed to enter Japan for short business visits from Nov. 1. Until Friday, only Singaporeans and South Koreans had been covered by the measure, which does not require a 14-day quarantine under certain conditions.

Two Asian countries, Myanmar and Jordan, saw their status worsen as they were downgraded from tier 2 to 3, meaning Japanese citizens are no longer permitted to travel there, Motegi said.