Japan to begin working holiday visa program with Slovakia in June


Staff Writer

Japan will start a working holiday program with Slovakia beginning this June, with the aim of enhancing friendship and understanding between the two countries.

According to the Foreign Ministry, the two countries on Wednesday agreed to implement the program, under which both Japanese and Slovak nationals between 18 and 30 years old could spend a one-year holiday while being allowed to work and save money without a working visa.

The ministry said the two countries started negotiations on the issue back in 2004 at the request of the Embassy of Slovakia in Tokyo.

Slovakia is the 15th country or region to have the program with Japan, following Poland and Portugal, which started it last year. Japan launched the program first with Australia in 1980, and each country has a different quota for the number of such visas it allots.

Last year, more than 10,000 foreign nationals obtained working holiday visas to come to Japan, with Taiwanese and South Koreans accounting for more than 30 percent each last year.

The ministry said Japan is in talks with other countries that have similar visa waiver programs with Japan to launch other working holiday programs.