Panel eyes letting rich foreigners stay for long periods

JIJI

A government panel discussing measures to boost tourism has drawn up an interim report proposing a new type of entry qualification that would allow wealthy foreigners to stay in the country for several years.

Based on the interim report compiled Monday, the panel will release a final report next month for submission to a ministerial forum on tourism.

Currently, Japan allows foreigners to stay in the country for long durations only for the purposes of business and study.

Australia and Malaysia, meanwhile, have entry qualifications allowing foreigners to stay for several years if they meet certain conditions — including their total assets and ages — even if their stays are not business- or study-related.

The government will set details of the planned new entry qualification while studying the two countries’ systems.

In the interim report, the panel also called for a study on expanding the scope of products covered by the consumption tax refund program for foreign visitors, possibly to include cosmetics and food.

It hopes to include the change in the government’s fiscal 2014 tax system reform package.

  • Masa Chekov

    They need to encourage more skilled permanent residents, who needs long term tourists?

  • Jason Pierre

    If Japan wants to really build its tourism industry, and really get people to visit Japan, they need to start with the garbage spewing from its politicians mouths. It needs to educate Japanese society that while foreigners admire and love Japanese culture and traditions, they are not Japanese. Meaning that barring foreigners from establishments, because of their appearance is not the way to attract visitors. Countries that have successful tourism industries, have them because they do not judge those who come to visit. They accept them and their differences openly.

  • Armand Vaquer

    It sounds like an invitation to “tourism class warfare.” If you have money, you can stay as long as you want. If you don’t have money, 90 days, kiddo!