Tourism panel eyes easy visas

Kyodo

Easier visa requirements were recommended to the government Thursday to lift foreign tourism to Japan.

The idea was among several proposals submitted by a Liberal Democratic Party tourism panel that are expected to be reflected in the government’s new policies on economic and fiscal management in June.

They are also expected to be among its pledges for the upcoming House of Councilors election this summer.

The government aims to boost foreign tourism from about 8.37 million in 2012 to 10 million in 2013, and to 25 million in 2020.

The proposals seek to free Thais, Malaysians and Indonesians from visa requirements while allowing Vietnamese and Russians to obtain multiple visas so they can visit as many times as they want until the visa expires.

To restore Chinese tourism, however, which has been heavily damaged by the Senkakus dispute, the committee calls for revising the system to issue multiple visas.

Such visas are available only to those staying overnight in Iwate, Miyagi or Fukushima, heavily damaged by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, and in Okinawa.

  • Wil

    How about 6 month visas for Americans? :]]