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Japan starts relaxing tourist visa requirements for Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines

Wednesday, October 01, 2014, 17:40 GMT+7
Japan starts relaxing tourist visa requirements for Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines
Japanese tourists are seen partaking in a Vietnam-Japan cultural festival in the Southeast Asian country in this file photo.

Japan commenced Tuesday the substantial relaxation of visa requirements for Vietnamese, Indonesian and Filipino tourists, its embassy in the Philippines said in a notice the same day.

This is the realization of a Japanese plan to relax multiple visa requirements for visitors from the said countries that was first announced in June, according to the notice on the Embassy of Japan’s website.

The visa requirement relaxation was determined following a meeting of the Ministerial Council on the promotion of Japan as a tourism-oriented country on June 17.

Vietnamese, Indonesian, and Filipino nationals who reside outside of their countries of origin can also enjoy the relaxation of visa requirements if they apply for the Japanese visa at the “diplomatic mission which has jurisdiction over their place of residence,” the notice reads.

The allowable period of stay of the multi-entry visa is 15 days. The visa used to have a term of validity of up to three years.

But starting September 30, the validity term has been extended to up to five years, whereas the period of stay remains unchanged.

This means travelers from the three countries are allowed to visit Japan several times within a period of five years, with the maximum stay per visit no longer than 15 days.

The Embassy of Japan in the Philippines also said in its notice that the application procedures for single tourism visas for those who book package tours from registered travel agencies will be simplified for these three countries in November.

But it did not elaborate on which the registered travel agencies are.

The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement in June that the substantial relaxation of visa requirements for nationals of Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam would be implemented as “an initial step” of the plan for a complete visa exemption, which it is endeavoring to realize as promptly as possible.

“The objectives of these measures are to promote Japan as a tourism-oriented country with the even higher goal of attracting 20 million foreign visitors to contribute to growth strategies as well as the promotion of people-to-people exchanges,” it said.

The East Asian country hopes to reach the target by 2020, when Tokyo hosts the Olympics and Paralympics, according to The Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper.

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