Singapore welcomes Japan's move to discuss restart of essential travel

·Editorial Team
·2-min read
Shoppers walking in a street in Tokyo on 24 June, 2020. (PHOTO: AP)
Shoppers walking in a street in Tokyo on 24 June, 2020. (PHOTO: AP)

SINGAPORE — Singapore welcomes the Japanese government’s decision to include it in its discussions on the resumption of essential travel with other countries, said the city-state’s foreign affairs spokesperson on Thursday (23 July).

On Wednesday, Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and Minister for Foreign Affairs Motegi Toshimitsu had announced that Japan will proceed with discussions on the resumption of essential travel with 12 Asian territories, as part of efforts to ease current entry bans in place to minimise the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The territories are Singapore, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Cambodia, Macao, Brunei, Malaysia, Myanmar, Mongolia, and Laos. Travellers will need to self-quarantine for 14 days, pass a virus test, and avoid using public transportation.

Its government will also consider a similar framework for business travellers outside of those territories as well. Currently, Japan has an entry ban in place for 129 countries and regions.

“Singapore and Japan are strong economic partners. The establishment of a reciprocal green lane between our countries will be an important and positive step forward towards restoring connectivity, and facilitating essential business and official travel with the necessary public health safeguards,” said a spokesperson for Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

The set-up of a green lane between both countries will also be a follow-up to and complement the “Joint Statement on Facilitating Resilient Economic Activities for Combating the COVID-19 Pandemic” endorsed by both countries on 1 May, the spokesperson said.

“We will work closely with the Japanese government to make progress on resuming such essential travels.”

Singapore’s first “reciprocal fast lane” arrangement with another country commenced on 8 June, allowing residents of Singapore and China to travel between Singapore and six Chinese provinces and municipalities – with several criteria in place – for essential business and official purposes.

Singapore and Malaysia are currently working towards implementing two schemes of cross-border travelling – the Reciprocal Green Lane (RGL) and Periodic Commuting Arrangement (PCA) – by 10 August.

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