Brunei business travellers allowed entry to Japan

Azlan Othman

Brunei Darussalam is among 12 countries or regions the Japanese government is relaxing entry restrictions for business travellers.

At the government coronavirus task force meeting on Wednesday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Cambodia, Singapore, South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Macao, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Myanmar, Mongolia, Laos and Taiwan are included in the list.

Travellers need to self-quarantine for 14 days, pass a virus test and avoid using public transportation. The government will consider a similar framework for business travellers outside of those 12 areas.

“It’s important to gradually resume the international movement of people,” Abe said.

Japan will also start negotiations with those included to resume travel and bilateral business, he added.

The decision was made to tame criticism that Japan’s stringent border controls to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus are making the country less appealing for foreign businesses.

Business industry groups have persistently lobbied the central government to amend its entry restrictions imposed on foreign nationals.

Japan is the only country among the Group of Seven nations that imposes such strict bans targetting non-native permanent and long-term residents.

As of yesterday, Japan had forbid foreign travellers from 146 countries and regions from entering the country, even if they were permanent residents or long-term residents.

The Foreign Ministry this week added 17 countries and areas including Venezuela, Somalia and Palestine. The entry ban will remain in effect through at least the end of August,
Abe said.