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Business Leaders Hail Japan’s Omicron-Led Border Closures

Police officers patrol an empty check-in area in a departure hall at Narita Airport in Narita, Japan, on Nov. 30.

Police officers patrol an empty check-in area in a departure hall at Narita Airport in Narita, Japan, on Nov. 30.

Photographer: Toru Hanai/Bloomberg
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Japan’s decision to close its borders to newly arriving foreigners in an attempt to head off the omicron coronavirus variant has met with support from members of the business community, despite their earlier urging for Japan to reopen to the world. 

“Making this call is appropriate,” said the lead editorial on Tuesday in the Nikkei, the paper of choice for business leaders. Just weeks earlier, before the discovery of the latest variant, the Nikkei had called for Japan to relax its border policy, saying Japanese businesspeople were being left out of international negotiations and the country’s labor shortage could worsen.