Japan to keep its borders closed in spite of drop in covid cases

Published on : Monday, November 1, 2021

While other Asian countries are slowing moving toward border reopening, Japanese borders will probably remain closed for some more time. For the many businesses, that’s hardship as they had to rely on foreign tourists, who numbered 32 million in 2019, before the pandemic hit the world.

Filled with pink fuzzy things and cuddly bears, 6%DOKIDOKI, a small local store located in the heart of Tokyo’s Harajuku district, is bursting with “kawaii,” the Japanese for “cuteness.”

However, it lacks foreign tourists. And it could sure use some.

Japan’s borders remain closed to tourists while other Asian countries are inching toward reopening theirs. The borders of Japan will probably remain closed for some time which would create severe hardship for businesses that are depended on foreign tourists, who numbered 32 million in 2019.

“Foreigners understand ‘kawaii’ more emotionally than do Japanese. They use, ‘Kawaii!,’ in the same way they say, ‘Wonderful,’ ‘Awesome,’ or ‘Lovely,’ ” said manager Yui Yoshida, noting Japanese tend to use the word mainly for tangible things like cute puppies.

“We had so many foreign customers before the pandemic,” she said. “Then suddenly no one could come.”

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