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Japan considers extending travel ban to business visitors from Taiwan

Prime Minister Suga likely to declare state of emergency for Tokyo area Jan. 7

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Shoppers in Tokyo's Shibuya district wear masks 

Shoppers in Tokyo's Shibuya district wear masks  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As Japan prepares to declare a state of emergency in the Tokyo area amid a worsening coronavirus crisis, the government is also considering a general ban on foreign nationals entering the country, including Taiwanese students and business travelers, reports said Tuesday (Jan. 5).

Restrictions announced on Dec. 26 did not originally cover business visitors and students from 11 countries, CNA reported. The list of East Asian and Southeast Asian countries included Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and China.

However, amid fears of a rapid expansion of coronavirus infections and of the new mutant strain, the Asahi Shimbun reported Tuesday that the government of Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide is considering barring all foreign citizens as long as the state of emergency for Tokyo, which starts Jan. 7, remains in force.

If implemented, the updated ban would not cover foreigners with valid residence permits and special humanitarian cases. A total of 66,000 foreign nationals entered Japan in November, UDN reported.