The ban will take effect from Dec. 28 and will run through January, the government said in an emailed statement.
Japanese citizens and foreign residents will be allowed to enter but must show proof of a negative coronavirus test 72 hours before departing for Japan and must quarantine for two weeks after arrival, the statement said.
Japan on Friday reported its first cases of a fast-spreading variant in passengers arriving from Britain. The new variant has also been detected in a man who visited the UK and a family member – the first cases of infected people found outside airport checks – Nippon TV reported on Saturday.
The new strain adds to worries about a surge in cases as Tokyo reported another record rise on Saturday.
Tokyo transport hubs were subdued, local media said, a day after Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, under pressure as cases continue to climb, urged the nation to stay home and avoid social mixing.