A plane full of Japanese business travelers has landed in Vietnam for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic prompted each country to issue travel bans.
The countries agreed to ease restrictions since local infections appear to be under control.
150 people boarded the plane at Narita Airport near Tokyo. The airline provided passengers with protective gowns and face masks.
The plane touched down in northern Vietnam. Passengers must take a PCR test at the airport, before starting two weeks of self-quarantine.
Their arrival is a relief for companies, which had to limit production after losing access to Japanese workers.
Electronics maker Sharp is set to receive about 130 Japanese workers at this Vietnamese factory.
Sharp Manufacturing Vietnam Chairman Wada Kazuhito said, "I am more relieved, than happy. We will now have the human resources we need to restart our operations."
Japan's Foreign Ministry is likewise looking to lift the entry ban for workers from Vietnam. That includes those who qualify for short-term contracts under Japan's "technical trainee" program.
One Vietnamese trainee says, "The agreement means I may be able to go to Japan. I'd be able to earn money to support my family."
Japan currently bans entry for people from more than 100 countries and territories. But it hopes to similarly ease travel restrictions with Thailand, Australia and New Zealand.