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Travel & Leisure

Japan opens up to Chinese tourists, but can it handle the rush?

80% of hotels short-staffed as country sees 84 times as many overseas visitors

Japan's hotels and restaurants have struggled to hire workers to respond to a rebound in inbound tourists. (Photo by Makoto Okada)

TOKYO -- Japanese tourism is back in full swing after the government eased COVID-19 entry restrictions for Chinese travelers, though a wave of new arrivals is adding pressure to an industry already grappling with a widespread labor shortage.

Japan scrapped a blanket testing requirement on travelers from China at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, a restriction that had been imposed since Dec. 30 in response to a surge in coronavirus cases there. It is now testing a random selection of up to 20% of passengers on flights from China.

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