COVID-19: Singapore and Japan in talks to finalise limited business travel by September

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·2-min read
Call on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan Motegi Toshimitsu at The Istana, Singapore, on 13 August 2020. (PHOTO: Ministry of Communications and Information)
Call on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan Motegi Toshimitsu at The Istana, Singapore, on 13 August 2020. (PHOTO: Ministry of Communications and Information)

SINGAPORE — Singapore and Japan are in talks to set up a “Residence Track” for limited business travel by as early as next month.

Singapore’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan and his Japanese counterpart Motegi Toshimitsu welcomed the talks in a joint statement on Thursday (13 August).

Under the proposed arrangement, there will be a special quota of cross-border travel by business executives and business professionals (work pass holders) with public health safeguards in place, including the 14-day stay home notice upon arrival in the respective countries.

The ministers also agreed on the major points on the Business Track (Reciprocal Green Lane), in which short-term business travelers will be subject to a controlled itinerary for the first 14 days, with public health safeguards in place.

They have tasked officials to finalise the agreement by early September, with Singapore being among one of the first countries with which Japan will begin this exchange of business travelers.

In a separate statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Toshimitsu, who is in Singapore for an official visit from Wednesday to Friday, called on and was hosted to lunch by Dr Balakrishnan on Thursday. He also paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana.

Apart from the travel arrangements, the ministers also discussed a range of regional and international issues including on promoting greater economic integration in the region.

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