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International relations

Japan to reopen borders with Singapore, Brunei for expatriates

Two join seven others in Southeast Asia; 14-day self-isolation required

Japan Airlines planes at Haneda Airport in Tokyo. (Photo by Akira Kodaka) 

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan said Friday it has agreed with Singapore and Brunei to reopen their borders for newly arriving expatriates and other long-term residents from next Wednesday and Oct. 8, respectively.

Those eligible to travel will be allowed in on condition they self-isolate for 14-days after entering the respective countries to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to the Foreign Ministry.

The two Southeast Asian countries will join seven other economies, including Vietnam and Thailand, with which Tokyo has established a travel corridor for long-term residents.

Japan currently bans in principle the entry of foreigners from 159 countries and regions.

"We see the resumption of new entries (of foreigners) to Japan as an extremely important issue," Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told a press conference.

"The government as a whole is seriously considering how to restart travel while taking measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus."

Japan already allows people on short-term business trips from Singapore to enter the country without the need to self-isolate, on condition they take pre-departure and post-arrival coronavirus tests, present an itinerary of their stay and take other steps to protect themselves and others from the virus.

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