Visa-easing step for Asians advances


A transport ministry panel has outlined a set of measures to help increase tourism, including easier visa criteria for people from Southeast Asia.

The Justice Ministry and other agencies will discuss the details before placing the measures into an action plan to be adopted by the ministerial task force headed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe by summer. Abe’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party has proposed that tourists from Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia be allowed to enter Japan without visas.

The panel also proposed simplifying port entry steps for cruise ships and improving access to Haneda and Narita airports.

The government aims to increase the number of foreign visitors to 10 million this year from 8.37 million last year.