NHK has learned that the Japanese government plans to allow foreign nationals with certain residency statuses, including students and technical trainees, to re-enter the country despite a ban imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Those who temporarily left Japan before the restrictions were imposed will be eligible, on the condition they comply with requirements such as taking a PCR virus test.
Foreigners from 129 countries and territories cannot currently enter Japan. Even those who reside in the country are banned from reentering, unless they have special circumstances.
The government will also grant entry to high-ranking foreign government officials who meet a number of conditions, such as testing negative for the virus, and limiting movements while in Japan.
US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun became the first such foreign dignitary this week.
The government is planning to let businesspeople from about 10 countries and territories travel to and from Japan. It aims to reach an agreement by the end of this month.
Japan has already agreed to ease travel restrictions with Vietnam.