The Government of Japan is finally allowing foreign residents back into the country.
This is not a small population, as our story from Tokyo shows.
An estimated 100,000 people — many of them members of the business community fell afoul of a Japanese ban on foreign arrivals since April 3.
You can imagine how unhappy and critical those residents have been.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said it is important to resume the international movement of people. And he is right.
Our leaders in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands say the same.
Both on Capitol Hill and at Adelup and in their various visitor bureaus we hear that it is important to prepare. We hear how important it is to reach out.
Japan ‘s leaders at this point have begun to talk about allowing students back into the country, and businesspeople to visit.
On July 28 it released a list of 12 destinations it will allow Japanese citizens to travel to. Neither Guam nor the Northern Mariana Islands have not made it onto that list. Japan is only considering the move, it said, and no date has been set.
There’s still time to see some real action from our governors and tourism leaders.
The other area where it would be good to see action rather than a bunch of bills is the 35th Guam Legislature. We have a “ban plastics” bill that is going to cost our people money in the end because as the bill is written in requires Environmental Protection Agency Enforcement. It is a feel-good bill with problems.
We have a bill that mandates electronic filing of Business Privilege Taxes, but neither the office of the bill’s author (Sen. Regine Biscoe Lee), nor the Guam Department of Revenue and Taxation could tell this paper how many people already file their taxes electronically, and whether the bill is necessary at all.
Research before a bill hits the legislative floor should be mandated too. mbj