Photo/Illutration Vietnamese travelers line up in front of an airline counter before boarding a special flight at Narita Airport in June. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

To ramp up testing capacity for travelers, the government will set up centers at Narita, Haneda and Kansai airports to administer polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for the new coronavirus.

Health Minister Katsunobu Kato announced on July 2 that the centers will be set up by September. 

The move to increase the daily testing capacity comes as Japan prepares to ease border regulations for international travelers. 

“We need to take sufficient measures on border controls,” Kato said as he visited a quarantine station at Narita Airport and a candidate site for a PCR testing center. 

Japan has been negotiating with Vietnam, Thailand and other countries to relax cross-border regulations.

When travelers arrive in Japan, they need to take a PCR test and test negative before being allowed entry. 

The government is also considering setting up PCR testing centers for travelers who are planning to leave Japan at locations near JR Tokyo Station and in Osaka’s Umeda district.

Before travelers depart from Japan, they are expected to be required to obtain certificates showing that they have tested negative for the coronavirus.