THE Japanese government plans to suspend entry permits for all foreigners as the coronavirus continues to spread around the world, but business people from 10 Asian countries and Taiwan are still allowed to enter.

The move was taken by Japanese broadcaster Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK) as part of tighter entry restrictions following the declaration of a state of emergency. No foreigners will be allowed to enter Japan, except for special reasons, such as a relative’s funeral or the birth of a child.

According to Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide said last week that he plans to ban travel to and from countries and regions where a new variant of the coronavirus has emerged. However, his party members and others said the move was confusing.

On the other hand, the Japanese government also announced that it would extend a state of emergency to seven other provinces amid a spike in coronavirus infections. The provinces are Osaka, Hyogo, Kyoto, Aichi, Gifu, Fukuoka, and Tochigi.

The declaration currently covers Tokyo and the three neighboring provinces of Kanagawa, Chiba and Saitama which came into effect last weekend.

Under the emergency, people were asked to refrain from traveling on non-essential business and help reduce the number of people using transportation by 70% by working from home whenever possible. Restaurants and bars were asked to reduce operating hours. The number of participants at various events will also be limited. The declaration is expected to take effect until February 7, 2021. [antaranews/photo special]