If you’ve been saving your annual leave for when Japan finally opens its doors to tourists, your wish has come true.

Japan will welcome foreign tourists on package tours from this month as part of a trial to see how well travel agencies can “manage behaviour”, the Japan Tourism Agency said in a statement on Tuesday (May 17).

Travellers from the United States, Australia, Thailand and Singapore who have received three vaccination doses will be able to enter the country for tourism, the statement said.

Visitors must purchase their own medical insurance and take part in packaged tours with predetermined itineraries approved by the government. They are to be accompanied by a tour guide throughout.

“So as to gather necessary information for the full resumption of tourism to Japan, we will carry out a trial project in the form of small-group package tours in May, in which the travel agency will control movement,” the agency said.

“We will verify how to ensure that tourists will comply with infection control measures and emergency response procedures while formulating guidelines for travel agencies and accommodation facilities.”

The four countries are recognised as having lower Covid-19 risk of mutant strains, and are key priority markets for Japan.

The agency added that further details will be decided in conjunction with the Japan Association of Travel Agents.

Text: Walter Sim/The Straits Times

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