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Singapore will 'work closely' with Japan to make progress on resuming essential travel: MFA

Singapore will 'work closely' with Japan to make progress on resuming essential travel: MFA

FILE PHOTO: A security guard walks past a signboard showing cancelled flights at the international departures area of Narita International Airport in Narita, Japan. (Photo: AFP/CHARLY TRIBALLEAU)

SINGAPORE: Singapore will "work closely" with Japan to make progress on resuming essential travel between the two countries, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on Thursday (Jul 23).

This comes a day after Japan announced that it would proceed with discussions on the resumption of essential travel with 12 places, including Singapore.

"Singapore welcomes the Japanese government’s decision to include Singapore as one of its partners to commence such negotiations," said MFA.

"Singapore and Japan are strong economic partners," said the ministry, adding that the establishment of a "reciprocal green lane" between the two would be an important step towards restoring connectivity and facilitating essential business and official travel, with the necessary public health safeguards.

READ: Japan has more than 100 new coronavirus cases for first time since May 9: Report

READ: Confusion swirls as Japan launches tourism campaign amid COVID-19 surge

"We will work closely with the Japanese government to make progress on resuming such essential travels,” added MFA.

This comes after Singapore and Japan on May 1 announced that they had agreed to "deepen bilateral economic cooperation" and strengthen economic resilience amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as explore the facilitating of essential travel.

On Wednesday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that Japan would enter into discussions on ways to safely resume travel with Singapore, as well as 11 other countries and regions, Kyodo News reported.

The resumption of travel between Japan and all 12 places - Brunei, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, China, South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore, hinges on extra COVID-19 prevention measures, including mandatory testing, Kyodo News cited a Japanese government official as saying.

Japan, which had banned entry from more than 100 countries, ended a curb on domestic travel in June, the last of a series of major restrictions imposed during a state of emergency declared in April. 

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Source: CNA/ic(nc)

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