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International relations

China visa freeze disrupts Japanese business plans

Companies and universities blindsided by retaliatory measure from Beijing

Passengers at Beijing Capital International Airport this week. On Jan. 11, China banned visa-free transit for Japanese and South Korean travelers.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- China's suspension of visas for visitors from Japan threatens to slow the recovery of business travel between the two countries, forcing some companies to make last-minute decisions on staffing and operations.

The Chinese government on Tuesday stopped issuing visas for arrivals from Japan and South Korea in retaliation for tighter entry rules the two countries imposed on Chinese travelers. On Wednesday, Chinese officials followed up by halting port visas and visa-free transit through China for Japanese and South Korean citizens.

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