Japan shut its borders to virtually all foreign visitors in January, except for those with special permits and for humanitarian purposes.
Daily cases have sharply fallen since September, in a trend generally attributed to vaccinations and extensive mask-wearing.
About 73% of the population have been fully vaccinated. Tokyo on Friday reported 25 cases, below 30 for the ninth straight day. Nationwide, Japan had 158 confirmed cases Thursday for an accumulated total of 1.72 million, with about 18,300 deaths.
The easing of border controls is part of Japan’s move to gradually resume social and economic activity. The government is experimenting with package tours, at restaurants and sports events before further resumption of daily activities.
Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara said Japan is to consider a possibility of allowing foreign tour groups by the end of the year after studying ways to control and monitor their activities.