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Coronavirus

Japan reopens borders but hefty paperwork impedes entry

Sponsoring businesses need 6 forms approved by authorities

People who enter Japan must have sponsoring businesses submit six forms, which need to be approved by relevant government agencies.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan has finally lifted its pandemic-era travel ban, much to the relief of the roughly 370,000 foreigners waiting to move here. But an unusually cumbersome application process means their wait will not end anytime soon.

Kai Japanese Language School, which accepts students from more than 40 countries, has roughly 150 students waiting. But as of now, it can apply for the entry of just 44 of them because of the strict rules for entry applications.

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