The European Business Council in Japan has called on the Japanese authorities to ease restrictions on foreigners to travel as the coronavirus crisis eases.

Current restrictions fail to provide a level playing field for foreign nationals, he said.

“The restrictions appear not really to be well-founded, and some of the European businesses are afraid that new restrictions can be imposed in an arbitrary way in the future,” said the organisation’s president, Michael Mroczek, a lawyer by profession.

“Businessmen who are based here, they cannot go to Korea, they cannot travel to Singapore and are pretty much restricted in what they are doing,” he told a press conference at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan.

According to the Kyodo news site, Japan imposed an entry ban on foreign nationals arriving from parts of China in early February and has since expanded it to cover 111 countries and regions, including the whole of Europe. Foreigners who have been to any of the areas within 14 days of arriving in Japan are being turned away.

“I’m not here to argue with the Japanese government about the interpretation (of the law). We take what we get. But we certainly are asking that there is an equal treatment with Japanese citizens and there is a reciprocity with the EU,” he said.

PHOTO: Michael Mroczek