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Coronavirus

Japan weighs welcoming foreign tourists as early as June

Golden Week's COVID numbers will be determining factor

Tokyo's Haneda International Airport, like Japan's other gateways, has received little traffic for the past two-plus years. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

TOKYO -- Japan might start accepting foreign tourists next month, Nikkei has learned. The government will make a final decision on lifting the ban on tourist visas in two weeks, when the number of coronavirus infections during the Golden Week holidays will be known.

Japan had national holidays on April 29 as well as May 3 through May 5, and many companies gave their employees holidays through this weekend. Millions of Japanese travel domestically and visit their hometowns during this annual "golden" period. This year, the tradition will put the country's recently relaxed COVID measures to the test.

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