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Japan is wasting its big chance with group-tour requirement

Even with cheap yen, few willing to put up with extra travel hassles

| Japan
An unusually deserted street in Kyoto in April 2021: Many have rejoiced to see their towns and temples cleared of noisy and chaotic tourists.   © Getty Images

Alex Kerr is the author of "Another Kyoto," "Finding the Heart Sutra" and "Another Bangkok: Reflections on the City."

Millions of Japanophiles across the globe who have been waiting to return to the archipelago have greeted Tokyo's halting steps to reopen to tourism in recent months with joy. But barely any have actually come.

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