By MATT SEDENSKY
AP National Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Japan’s prime minister has announced that his nation’s strict border restrictions will be loosened next month. That will allow tourists to easily enter for the first time since the start of the pandemic. In a news conference at the foot of Central Park in New York, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said independent tourists would again be welcomed as of Oct. 11. That means entry isn’t restricted to those traveling with authorized groups. A cap on the number of tourists will also be lifted, as will new visa requirements imposed in response to the pandemic.