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Japan immigration

Japan begins trial to allow in small foreign tour groups

First U.S. tourists land, with more from Singapore, Thailand, Australia expected

Tourists from the U.S. arrive at Narita Airport under Japan's pilot program for receiving tour groups from abroad on May 24. (Photo by Konosuke Urata)

TOKYO -- Japan's government on Tuesday started a trial reopening to foreign tour groups, as a first step toward a planned wider relaxation of rules in June, as the country emerges from a long border shutdown due to COVID-19.

The government will draw up guidelines for a safe revival of tourism from information gathered in this trial. However, with only 50 participants in the project, there are worries that there will not be enough data collected, which could delay a full reopening.

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