Japanese companies with plants in China are welcoming the planned resumption of business travel between the two countries this month.
Japan's Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi agreed on the measure at a meeting in Tokyo on Tuesday.
Mitsui Chemicals has barred staff from traveling abroad in principle since February due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A division that produces materials for vehicle bumpers normally sends Japanese engineers to the company's three group firms in China twice a year for training purposes. But the trips have been suspended.
Japanese staff have also been unable to visit China to oversee the installation of new equipment. Instructions are now being given remotely, with staff in Japan monitoring the work through video links.
Mitsui Chemicals official Korehisa Kinzo says physically checking equipment with local staff is crucial to ensure safety. He says some tasks cannot be handled remotely, so he's pinning hope on the resumption of business travel.