Japan to lift travel ban to China to relieve economic pressure

By GT staff reporters Source: Global Times Published: 2020/10/8 19:53:40

A couple shares food at an izakaya restaurant in Tokyo's Ueno area, Japan on Monday. Japan is launching its "Go To Eat" campaign in September aiming to lend a helping hand to the hampered food and beverage industry. The campaign has two components: discount vouchers and point-based rewards. Photo: AFP

The Japanese government is planning to lift its current travel ban for 12 countries and regions —including China — starting in November, in a move that apparently aims to relieve the country's heavy economic pressure.

In a report released on Thursday, Japanese media Yomiuri said that the Japanese government will lower its travel warnings for 12 countries and regions — including China, South Korea, Vietnam, New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia and Singapore — starting in November, and instead will recommend that travelers refrain from all unnecessary and non-urgent visits to the destinations.

The move, which shows Japan's recognition and confidence in China's efforts in containing the pandemic, also aims to relieve the heavy pressure economic Japan faces caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Chinese experts specializing in Japan-related issues, told the Global Times.

"Economic and people-to-people exchanges between Japan and other countries and regions have been 'cut off' by the pandemic, exerting a heavy blow on Japan's economy — for example, its airlines' operation," said Liu Junhong, a research fellow at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations in Beijing.

To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Japan banned travel to 159 countries and regions. However, since the outbreak and subsequent pandemic, Japan has faced rising economic pressure.

Japan's economy shrank by 28.1 percent in April to June, compared with the same period last year, according to data from the Japanese government.

Liu said that Japan hasn't "walked out of the shadow of deflation" yet, as the public's desire for consumption has slowed significantly due to the pandemic.

"If the government doesn't restart the economy, its impacts will be far-reaching," Liu noted.

Posted in: ECONOMY

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