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NEWS: Japan Gov't Plans to Further Ease Entry Restrictions for Tourists as Early as October


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ravager



Joined: 01 Oct 2005
Posts: 122
Location: Philippines
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2022 3:47 am Reply with quote
FYI the NHK World link opens to an "Error: 404 Not Found" page.
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Joe Mello



Joined: 31 May 2004
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Location: Online Terminal
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2022 8:10 am Reply with quote
ravager wrote:
FYI the NHK World link opens to an "Error: 404 Not Found" page.

The tracking bit at the end doesn't generate correctly. Chop off the "target" part and you get the right page
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Greed1914



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2022 9:34 am Reply with quote
Comparatively speaking, these changes are happening kind of fast. It makes me think that the politicians were aware that Japan couldn't continue on with its policies, but didn't want to open up in one move right after elections since it might make those elderly voters realize that it was more about securing votes by this point.
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xxmsxx



Joined: 06 Sep 2017
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2022 11:35 am Reply with quote
Won't get excited until it actually changes. But I suppose this is a good direction?
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ximpalullaorg



Joined: 16 Jan 2007
Posts: 341
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2022 2:58 pm Reply with quote
Greed1914 wrote:
Comparatively speaking, these changes are happening kind of fast. It makes me think that the politicians were aware that Japan couldn't continue on with its policies, but didn't want to open up in one move right after elections since it might make those elderly voters realize that it was more about securing votes by this point.


You're giving too much credit to the government. Also, given how happened after May (i.e. the farce about guided tours) until I see some details I'll hold judgment.
It may also have been due to influential people like Koike trying to save face and asking for reopening. Considering what she said during the last two years (threatening people, insulting people who went to hostess bars, deflecting any criticism...) the shift in attitude, while useful, is disgusting.
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Tempest
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Joined: 29 Dec 2001
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2022 9:53 pm Reply with quote
Woohoo!

I'm going in October, so now I won't need to apply for a visa (minor pain in the ass).
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Greboruri



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 344
Location: Canberra, ACT, Australia
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 1:45 am Reply with quote
If they do have visa free travel by October, bit of a kick in the teeth for anyone who paid $200 to $300 for the Entrants, Returnees Follow-up System (ERFS) certificate (not mentioned in the article), for it only to be dropped. I've been reading stories where people have paid for their ERFS certificate, which I understand expires three months after issued, only to try and book a spot at the consulate in order to get a visa, only to discover all spots have been booked out for the next three months, making the ERFS certificate worthless.

Not to mention "unguided" tourists cannot book a flight themselves, it has to be done via a tourist agency based in Japan. This particular rule does not apply to those who go in tour groups. The reasoning behind that is beyond me.

The whole thing is just an ordeal and totally baffling. This weird staggered return to normal tourism really makes you feel unwelcome and a bit of a nuisance as well. It really feels purposely designed to make it as difficult as possible to get into the country. Again I note that Japanese tourists currently have visa free travel to most countries that had that arrangement prior to March 2020. The lack of reciprocal arrangements is completely unfair.
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omiya



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 1:56 am Reply with quote
Tempest wrote:
Woohoo!

I'm going in October, so now I won't need to apply for a visa (minor pain in the ass).


I'd only known visa-free travel to Japan during 2011-2019.

For my visit in late August 2022 for Animelo Summer Live, I had to get the ERFS certificate organised (although I applied through an Australian travel agent, two Japanese travel agents were also involved) in order to apply for the visa, which had to be done in person through an agent in Adelaide (otherwise an interstate visit to Melbourne was required).

It was fairly stressful finding out that the Melbourne office of the agent in Adelaide had failed to pick up my completed visa attached to my passport from the Japan consulate in Melbourne and having to visit the agent in Adelaide 3 more times to ensure that my passport with visa attached came back in time.

Plus that trip involved AUD$510 per day to the tour guide plus AUD$285 for the morning departure from Narita Airport, negative PCR test result from test taken within 72 hours of arrival in Japan (AUD$145) and uploading the test result and proof of vaccinations to the MySOS app.

Once in Japan I had to register a Mobal SIM in order to have a Japanese mobile number (needs a dual SIM mobile or Wi-Fi internet coverage) in order to register on the PIA ticket site for my e-tickets to work (fun when all on a mobile with poor mobile network signal in the hotel room copying and pasting Japanese language text into Google translate), and for registering for Yahoo Japan for access to the merchandise sales (which I ended up skipping), and for registering registering on eplus for upcoming streaming events not listed on eplus international.

I wasn't prepared to buy any more concert tickets in advance and have to go through uncertain procedures to get a visa.

PS, I couldn't find a charge for the ERFS certificate in my invoices from my travel agent, but the visa cost me AUD$94.


Last edited by omiya on Thu Sep 22, 2022 2:49 am; edited 1 time in total
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wmderemer
It...it's not like I post for you or anything!



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 4:02 pm Reply with quote
Tempest wrote:
Woohoo!

I'm going in October, so now I won't need to apply for a visa (minor pain in the ass).


And I am going with Evan and PacSet in March (my 1st time in Japan)...I do feel sorry for those who went through the time, hassle & expense to secure the visa and to schedule & complete a negative PCR test 72 hours before their international flight... two things I am glad I'll not need unless things change, especially because it saves me about $400 between the two things...
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Piglet the Grate



Joined: 25 May 2021
Posts: 432
Location: North America
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 7:11 pm Reply with quote
Greboruri wrote:
....
The whole thing is just an ordeal and totally baffling. This weird staggered return to normal tourism really makes you feel unwelcome and a bit of a nuisance as well. It really feels purposely designed to make it as difficult as possible to get into the country....


Odd, because I am still seeing "Visit Japan" advertisements on YouTube.
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ximpalullaorg



Joined: 16 Jan 2007
Posts: 341
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 10:46 pm Reply with quote
https://newsdig.tbs.co.jp/articles/-/159878

Officially announced from October, albeit with scarce details (Kishida said "further easing from the next month", but he may say more when he speaks in front of NYSE today).

Funnily enough at the same time Chief Secretary Matsuno said at the usual scheduled press conference that there were no changes....
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Tempest
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 11:36 pm Reply with quote
wmderemer wrote:
And I am going with Evan and PacSet in March
I'll probably see you then. I usually try to say hi to that tour, or even join for dinner one night.
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SenpaiDuckie
ANN Community Manager


Joined: 16 Sep 2021
Posts: 321
Location: PH
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 11:41 pm Reply with quote
Now all I need is a good sale for a plane ticket going to Japan Anime hyper

I wonder now how much is the JR Pass... lol. I'll see you soon Japan!
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luisedgarf



Joined: 02 Oct 2004
Posts: 619
Location: Guadalajara, Mexico
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2022 11:55 pm Reply with quote
Greboruri wrote:

The whole thing is just an ordeal and totally baffling. This weird staggered return to normal tourism really makes you feel unwelcome and a bit of a nuisance as well. It really feels purposely designed to make it as difficult as possible to get into the country. Again I note that Japanese tourists currently have visa free travel to most countries that had that arrangement prior to March 2020. The lack of reciprocal arrangements is completely unfair.


That's because both Japan and the U.S., who have military bases in Japan, would scream bloody murder and racism if a fellow U.S. ally, let alone a member of the NATO, would do the same against Japanese citizens. Americans really need those bases, considering the current political crisis between China and Taiwan, and they cannot afford the anger the Japanese government, who already had many reasons to kick the American military from Japan, if a western government allied with the U.S, would do the same, even at the expense of their own citizens who have relatives or business deals in Japan.
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omiya



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 1741
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
PostPosted: Thu Sep 22, 2022 12:14 am Reply with quote
wmderemer wrote:
and to schedule & complete a negative PCR test 72 hours before their international flight...


It was actually more difficult than that as the PCR test had to be taken within 72 hours of ARRIVAL in Japan and I took flights via Singapore so it was a case of test on a Monday afternoon, receive results Tuesday and upload to MySOS app, fly to Singapore early Wednesday, fly from Singapore late Wednesday and arrive at Haneda Thursday morning with both electronic and paper versions of everything.

Landing at Haneda, going through the process of showing the blue MySOS app screen and staff selecting a button on the app, getting my temperature taken and answering a few questions, then immigration and picking up checked luggage and then customs took about an hour, compared with about 40 minutes all up on pre-2020 arrivals as a tourist.

Hope to visit again in February 2023.
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