Japan and South Korea defended their public health restrictions on travelers from China on Wednesday, a day after China stopped issuing new visas in both countries in apparent retaliation, AP reports.

South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin said he finds it “significantly regrettable” that China stopped issuing short-term visas to South Koreans and called for China to align its pandemic steps with “scientific and objective facts.”

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno criticized China for “one-sidedly” restricting visa issuances to Japanese nationals “because of a reason that is not related to COVID-19 measures.”

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