Tokyo protests China’s suspension of visas to Japanese citizens


Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi on Tuesday opposed China’s decision to suspend the issuance of visas to Japanese travelers and protested through diplomatic channels.

That China decided to “restrict issuance (visas) for reasons other than COVID-19 countermeasures is extremely regrettable,” Hayashi told reporters in Argentina during a diplomatic tour of America, adding that Japan had requested China to cancel the move in to pull.

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Photo taken on January 11, 2023, shows the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo. (TBEN)

China began suspending the issuance of new visas to Japanese and South Korean travelers the previous day after announcing that it would respond to countries introducing stricter entry restrictions on visitors from China for the coronavirus.

Japan is currently requiring proof of a negative pre-departure COVID-19 test from those arriving from mainland China amid a surge in cases and fears a new virus variant could emerge there.

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On Japan’s stricter border controls, Hayashi said, “(The measures) have been taken so as not to impede as much as possible the global movement of people.”

“We will investigate COVID-19 conditions in China and how the country is disclosing information and act accordingly,” he added.

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China suspends visa issuance to Japanese, South Korean travelers