By MARI YAMAGUCHI and FOSTER KLUG, The Associated Press

TOKYO (AP) — Japan has asked international airlines to stop taking new reservations for all flights arriving in the country until the end of December in a further tightening of already strict border controls.

The transportation ministry says the request is an emergency precaution. The move by the world's third largest economy, coupled with its recent return to a ban on foreign visitors, is among the most stringent anywhere, and more in line with cloistered neighbor China than with some other democracies in the region.

It comes as scientists work frantically to determine just how threatening omicron is.

Japan has confirmed a second case of the omicron variant in a person who arrived from Peru, one day after it reported its first case in a Namibian diplomat.

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