Visa fee waiver extended for disaster-zone tourists

Kyodo

The Foreign Ministry on Friday extended its visa fee waiver for tourists who visit Fukushima, Iwate and Miyagi prefectures for five more years to help the region damaged by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami recover.

The ministry, which decided in 2011 to exempt tourists from paying visa fees for five years until March 31, said it hopes the extension from April 1 will help prefectures whose coastlines were devastated by the giant tsunami rebuild.

The fees are usually about ¥3,000 ($27) for a single-entry visa and ¥6,000 for a multiple-entry visa. To qualify for the waiver, foreigners must present documents to verify their plans to visit the three prefectures, such as itineraries and airline tickets.