Japan urges citizens to stay away from a third of the world

An employee works at the almost empty Kansai International Airport in Osaka

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan is urging its citizens not to travel to 73 countries and regions, or a third of all countries in the world, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said on Tuesday, as the government fights to prevent an explosive surge in coronavirus cases.

The ministry on Tuesday issued "Level 3" travel warnings against the United States, Canada, China, South Korea, Britain, among others, adding to the more than 20 countries, mostly in Europe, that it had warned against in recent weeks.

The government will likely ban entry of non-Japanese nationals from the newly added countries, as it has for the previous ones, Motegi said.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim)