Japan will allow visa-free, independent tourism and abolish a daily arrival cap as of Oct. 11, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Thursday, marking a major policy shift after nearly 2 1/2 years of strict COVID-19 restrictions. The government will also launch a nationwide travel discount program, which had been shelved due to the spread of COVID-19 infections. The Japan Times reports: Kishida made the long-awaited announcement during his visit to New York for the U.N. General Assembly. “I hope many people will utilize it,” Kishida said at a news conference. “I want to support the travel, entertainment and other industries that have been struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.” Japan has been allowing tourists since June, starting with people on guided tours. On Sept. 7, the government allowed those on nonguided tours who had booked their flights and hotels through registered travel agencies. But those measures have been unpopular with many

   

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