Tokyo slams Beijing’s visa halt for Japanese citizens, defends Covid travel curbs for Chinese travellers

Tokyo on Wednesday criticised China’s move to stop issuing visas to Japanese citizens, saying it had protested the measure and demanded that Beijing reverse the decision.

China on Tuesday said it would suspend the issuing of visas for Japanese and South Korean citizens in response to measures imposed by Tokyo and Seoul on arrivals from the mainland, where Covid cases are surging.

A temple in Kyoto, in Japan. Photo: Rianto Lukman, via Flickr.

China’s apparently retaliatory move was “extremely regrettable”, Japan’s top government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno said.

He pointed out that Japan’s measures, which require arrivals from mainland China and Macau to test before travel and on landing, do not prevent Chinese travellers from entering the country.

“We protested to China through diplomatic channels and demanded the removal of the measure,” he said.

Matsuno declined to detail how China responded to Japan’s protest or whether there would be further discussions with Beijing on the issue.

“Japan will take appropriate steps while monitoring the infection situation in China and the status of China’s information disclosure,” Matsuno said.

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