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Kishida announces limited reopening of Japan's borders

Relaxation comes amid fierce pressure from businesses

Travelers walk at the arrival lobby at Japan's Narita International Airport. (Photo by Karina Nooka)

TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday announced his government will allow a limited number of foreign students and business travelers to enter the country from March, following pressure from business groups and academic circles.

The move, which will mark the first major reopening of Japan's borders in more than a year, comes as other parts of the world have relaxed COVID-19 restrictions amid growing indication the omicron variant is less likely to cause severe illness than earlier strains. But high infection rates in Japan mean further easing remains a political challenge for Kishida.

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