Tokyo has decided to suspend all events related to visa-free travel between Japanese prefectures and the southern Kuril Islands until the end of the year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Kyodo news agency reported on Friday.
According to the news agency, nine such trips were scheduled for this year, TASS reports.
The two countries agree visa-free travel programs every year, such trips take place between May and October. Visa-free trips were launched in 1992 based on an intergovernmental agreement aimed at improving mutual understanding between the two countries’ people. Since then, over 8,000 of Iturup, Kunashir and Shikotan islands have visited Japan and more than 18,000 Japanese nationals have traveled to the southern Kuril Islands.