According to Japan’s top government spokesman, officials are considering allowing foreign athletes to enter the country to join professional baseball, soccer and other sports teams.

Due to coronavirus entry restrictions, many overseas athletes who have signed contracts with Japanese teams cannot come to Japan and are likely to miss the start of next season.

Cabinet chief Kato Katsunobu told reporters Thursday that entry permits for foreign players are an important issue as baseball and other professional sports are about to start a new season.

Kato said the government is discussing whether such players will be allowed to enter Japan as part of border control measures.

He said the steps under discussion include putting in place tough anti-virus measures that would replace the 14-day quarantine period.