The European Business Council urges Japan to relax travel restrictions

European business group urges Japan to relax travel restrictions

Source ; Japan Times

The EBC (European Business Council) urged the Japanese government to revise its coronavirus-triggered entry restrictions imposed on foreign nationals, warning that the ban threatens to leave a lasting negative impact on operations of European and Japanese businesses alike.

The entry restrictions were imposed about a year after a trade pact between Japan and the European Union came into effect on Feb. 1, 2019. The deal was meant to increase exports from the European Union and direct investment from Europe. Within a year, the agreement boosted exports from the EU by 6.6 percent.

“Now … (the agreement) is losing momentum because of the travel ban,” said Michael Mroczek, President of the European Business Council in Japan, during a news conference in Tokyo. 
He suggested that in easing the restrictions, Japan should prioritize permanent residents and long-term residents — noting that those groups include a large number of people who either run their own businesses or are employed in Japan — followed by business travelers.

To prevent further fallout, “a possible solution could be that permanent and long-term residents should be immediately let out and back again into Japan; in the second step the restriction could be lifted on business travelers and later … tourists.”; he added.

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