(Tokyo) Japan will stop testing visitors arriving from China for COVID-19 from Wednesday, the Japanese government announced on Monday, ending a measure that Beijing called “discriminatory”.

Visitors from China will only need to provide proof of a vaccination or present a negative test taken before their trip, as is the current rule for all other arrivals to Japan, regardless of their nationality, according to a press release from the government.

Tokyo had been applying this health restriction specifically targeting China since the end of December last year in the face of the surge in COVID-19 cases in the country at the end of 2022, after the abandonment of Beijing’s “zero COVID-19” policy.

China retaliated in January by suspending the issuance of short-stay visas for Japanese people for three weeks.

However, Japan was far from an isolated case: various countries had also tightened their entry requirements for passengers from China, such as the United States, South Korea, Australia and European countries whose France.

However, these countries have gradually lifted these precautions in recent months. France, for example, no longer requires a negative PCR test of less than 48 hours for travelers from China since mid-February.

In 2019, before the pandemic, 30% of foreign visitors to Japan came from mainland China. They were also the tourists spending the most in the Japanese archipelago, which is once again relying on international tourism to support its economic recovery.