TOKYO — Japan and Vietnam have agreed to partially lift travel bans and ease restrictions as a way to reopen economic and bilateral exchanges between the two Asian nations where coronavirus infections have been largely under control.
Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told reporters Friday that Vietnam is one of four countries that Japan has been discussing resuming mutual visits in phases. Japan is also seeking similar arrangements with Thailand, Australia and New Zealand.
Japan and Vietnam are discussing final details such as timing of resumption, Motegi said.
Japan has imposed entry bans to 111 nations as part of coronavirus measures.
Japan lifted a seven-week pandemic emergency in late May and has started reopening social and business activities to minimize economic damage. All domestic restrictions were removed Friday and people can now start travel anywhere in Japan. Physical distancing and other preventive measures remain in place.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said aggressive virus testing is crucial as the country resumes social and economic activity safely. He said testing centers for foreign visitors are also being planned.
Vietnam has reported only 342 cases and no deaths. Japan has 17,740 cases and 935 deaths.