Vietnam almost completely sealed off its borders to foreign nationals in March, while Japan currently bans residents of more than 100 countries and regions -- including Vietnam.
But the two countries are now easing their restrictions, allowing a chartered flight arranged by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam from Tokyo's Narita airport to northern Vietnam on Thursday.
The 150-odd passengers had their temperatures checked before flying, were tested for coronavirus on arrival and will be quarantined for two weeks in a hotel. Two other chartered flights are scheduled to run on Friday and Saturday, transporting a total of 440 people from Japan to Vietnam.
It's the first step toward opening borders between the two countries, with Japan's Foreign Ministry saying earlier this month it is working to relax rules on travel with Vietnam. The two countries are the latest to start slowly reopening borders as countries all over the world balance the need to keep their citizens safe -- and kick start their economies.
Read the full story here.