Japan wants talks with Vietnam about lifting of travel ban

By Nguyen Quy   June 1, 2020 | 11:00 pm PT
Japan wants talks with Vietnam about lifting of travel ban
Arrivals provide health declarations at Tan Son Nhat Airport in HCMC, March 18, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran.
Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi wants to soon hold discussions with Vietnam on resuming travel between the two countries.

During a 30-minute phone call to Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh on Monday, he hailed Vietnam’s success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic, and thanked its government and people for their support to Japan’s fight against the pandemic and for allowing Japanese experts to return to work in Vietnam, Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Vietnam gifted face masks and other medical supplies worth $100,000 to Japan before sending another consignment of 140,000 antibacterial masks.

Toshimitsu said Japan would continue to support Vietnam by providing medical equipment and supplies based on its needs.

Minh too thanked Japan for supporting Vietnam in its fight against the pandemic, especially the support it has given Vietnamese students and interns living in Japan.

On May 19, the Japanese Cabinet approved a program to provide up to 200,000 yen ($1,900) in a cash handout to each of around 430,000 university and other students in the nation struggling financially to pay for tuition or living costs amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Japan Times reported. Vietnamese students are also eligible for the program.

The two sides agreed to speed up work on a proposal to establish an ASEAN center for emerging diseases and public health emergencies made by Japan's Prime Minister Abe Shinzo at the Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit in April.

Japan has banned entry by foreigners but is considering allowing business travelers from Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam, who test negative for Covid-19 both while leaving their home country and arriving in Japan, Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported.

Vietnam has not allowed entry for foreign nationals since March 22 except those with diplomatic and official passports and business managers, experts and high-skilled workers. All are quarantined for 14 days.

It has gone 47 days without community transmission of the coronavirus. It has reported 328 Covid-19 cases so far, including 35 active cases, and no deaths.

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