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International relations

Vietnam welcomes first Japanese business flyers since reopening

440 corporate reps and engineers set to arrive in Southeast Asian nation by Saturday

Passengers check in at Narita Airport near Tokyo for the charter flight to Vietnam on June 25.   © Kyodo

HANOI -- About 440 Japanese nationals with business ties in Vietnam will arrive in the Southeast Asian nation by Saturday after being barred from entry for months due to travel restrictions enacted to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

A chartered flight by Vietnam Airlines took the first group of 150 Japanese to Van Don International Airport in northern Vietnam on Thursday. All arrivals will be required to undergo coronavirus tests and quarantine in hotels for two weeks.

Vietnam and Japan agreed on June 19 to resume mutual travel in phases. Japanese employees stationed in the Southeast Asian country and engineers on long-term stays are now allowed entry into Vietnam.

Vietnam had allowed entry to about 70 Japanese nationals as a special case last month. Vietnam suspended entry to all foreign travelers in March in response to the pandemic.

Japan is ironing out a plan to reopen the country to Vietnamese technical trainees

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