The U.N. is calling for Japan to close its doors to visitors and close its borders to international travel by March 10, citing a growing global trend of tourism-related crime.
The U.K., France, China and Germany are among countries that have banned or restricted foreign travel, and many others have tightened restrictions on tourist arrivals and departures.
Japan’s tourism industry has been hit hard by a wave of crime linked to cheap, tourist-driven tours that draw tens of thousands of visitors annually.
U.N.-backed travel agency Agence France-Presse said Thursday it is urging Japan to reopen by March 11.
It said the world’s second-largest economy has the highest crime rate in the world.
The agency urged the Japanese government to close down tourist sites and reduce the number of tourists.
“In the absence of measures, the crime rate will only increase,” Agence Française said in a statement.
Japan has about 1.3 million visitors a year and has long struggled with the high crime rate, which has increased by 25 percent over the past three years.
It has faced criticism for failing to keep pace with changes in crime.The U