The president of the European Business Council in Japan called on the country on Monday to ease its entry restrictions, branding the government's measures as being too strict.
Michael Mroczek told a press conference in Tokyo that the immigration restrictions for foreign residents in Japan, including long-term and permanent residents, should be lowered to levels adopted by members of the European Union.
Mroczek said that Japan's reputation as a place to do business may be tarnished by the policy, impacting foreign investments in the country.
Many Japanese people traveling for business are allowed back into the country amid the entry restrictions, while European long-term residents in Japan are not, he noted.
"European companies, with their Asia-Pacific headquarters in Japan, are losing competitiveness" as a result, he said.
He urged Japan to accept the entry of people on the basis of their place of residence rather than their nationality, as is the case in European countries.
Mroczek also warned that the entry restrictions may adversely affect trade and investments between Japan and the EU, which have expanded under the two economies' economic partnership agreement.
"Some companies that have headquarters for the Asia-Pacific here in Japan may start thinking to switch their headquarters to other countries," he said.