TOKYO — Japan plans to ban entry by foreign nationals who have visited the South Korean city of Daegu and neighboring county of Cheongdo in North Gyeongsang Province, the centre of the coronavirus outbreak in the country, government sources said on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government will approve the ban during a meeting on the pneumonia-causing virus in the afternoon, the sources said.
The plan came a day after the Japanese Foreign Ministry raised its travel alert for the city and the county in southeastern South Korea, asking Japanese people not to make nonessential trips to the area.
The entry ban is likely to target foreign nationals who have been in the city or county within two weeks of their arrival in Japan, according to the sources.
So far, Japan has barred entry to foreign nationals who have been in China's Hubei Province - whose provincial capital is Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak - and Zhejiang Province.
In response to the situation, South Korea on Wednesday called for Japan not to take "excessive measures" against South Korean tourists after Tokyo announced a plan to ban the entry of foreigners who have visited the South's city of Daegu and the nearby county over coronavirus concerns.
"We have stressed to the Japanese side that no excessive or unreasonable measures should be taken against our nationals and travelers, while explaining our efforts to contain COVID-19," the foreign ministry said.
"We have asked the Japanese side for a cautious response." The ministry said Tokyo informed Seoul of the planned entry ban in advance.
Tokyo's latest decision comes on the heel of a string of entry restrictions on visitors from Korea by other foreign countries. So far, 16 countries have imposed entry bans, with 11 others having toughened quarantine processes. — KYODO/YONHAP