TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Wednesday Japan will commence negotiations to resume business travel with some 10 countries and regions including China, South Korea and Taiwan, easing entry bans currently in place to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.
At the coronavirus task force meeting held at the prime minister's office, Abe also indicated the government would begin considering conditions of entry for athletes and other individuals involved with the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, now due to kick off a year from Thursday.
Japan currently has an entry ban in place for 129 countries and regions. The country is aiming to proceed with preparations for the Tokyo Games as it gradually reopens the economy.
Moving forward, Tokyo plans to progressively ease entry bans for employees of foreign companies in Japan and overseas students who have a status of residence.
The other countries with which the Japanese government is also expected to start talks on easing travel restrictions include Brunei and Myanmar that have the virus outbreak under control.
The Abe government has already started discussions with Vietnam, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand on easing travel restrictions.