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Japan, Vietnam set to allow short-term business travel

Motorcyclists pass a billboard with public information about coronavirus in Hanoi, Vietnam, on May 29, 2020.

MAIKA ELAN/BLOOMBERG

By THE JAPAN NEWS-YOMIURI Published: October 10, 2020

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TOKYO — The Japanese and Vietnamese governments are set to come to an agreement to allow businesspeople to resume traveling between the two countries for short work-related trips as early as this month, it has been learned.

This will be the third country in which the Japanese government has allowed short-term visitors to travel back-and-forth, following Singapore and South Korea.

The government plans to exempt these travelers from the 14-day quarantine if they meet the following requirements: They are tested for the coronavirus prior to departure and upon arrival; they provide their itinerary in advance; and they only travel to work-related locations.

The two sides are also considering agreeing to a summit meeting when Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga makes his first overseas trip to Vietnam in the middle of the month.

Japan and Vietnam have strong economic ties, and as of 2019, there are 1,943 Japanese companies operating in Vietnam, double what it was 10 years ago. There were also about 40,000 business travelers from Vietnam in 2019, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization.

The number of coronavirus cases in Vietnam has not exceeded one per day since the beginning of the month, which has led the Japanese government to make its latest decision.

"The environment is ready for the resumption of travel," a senior government official said.