Picture used for illustrative purpose. File
Japan will lift a re-entry ban on foreigners from next month, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday, as the country looks to rebuild an economy hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
"From September 1, we will allow foreigners with proper visas to re-enter after leaving the country, on condition that they take additional measures to prevent infection," Abe said.
The policy will "allow those who are currently in countries on which Japan has imposed an entry ban to re-enter," he added.
Japan has faced criticism for a strict border policy to limit coronavirus that has kept out most non-citizens, including those with long-term residency.
Abe said the loosening of the rules would be implemented alongside measures to keep coronavirus at bay.
The announcement came hours before the news that Abe plans to resign over health issues.
Japan has been hit less hard than most advanced economies by the coronavirus, with just over 65,000 cases, and around 1,200 deaths.Agence France-Presse
The state of emergency, which is a non-binding request, centers around asking restaurants, bars and other businesses to voluntarily close at 8pm. Japan has never had a mandatory lockdown, but has managed to keep infections relatively low with social distancing and such voluntary measures.
People wearing masks strolled around the perimeter of the Imperial Palace in central Tokyo, taking pictures and posing for selfies among the trees.
Japan this month issued a state of emergency in Tokyo and other areas to tame a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases. The measure includes a request for restaurants and bars to close by 8 p.m. although there are currently no penalties for non-compliance.
The management has officially welcomed devotees to the 70,000 square foot premises by monumentally lighting a lantern together to celebrate the opening. Over 200 dignitaries, ambassadors and local community leaders attended the celebration.
Vishal Ranjan, registrar with the institute, confirmed the four deaths and that the rescue operation "has been stopped for now because of heavy rainfall and snowfall in the region".
The vehicle was travelling along a treacherous mountain highway in Uttarakhand state when it careened over an edge and plunged at least 500 metres (1,640 feet) with around 45 people onboard.
The overcrowded stadium in Malang in Indonesia's East Java province descended into chaos after police fired tear gas to disperse agitated fans who had poured on to the pitch at the end of the match. It was one of the world's worst stadium disasters.