Japan to ease visa rules for Chinese before summer in push for 40 million visitors by 2020

JIJI

The government will ease rules on multiple-entry visas for Chinese visitors before this summer, as part of efforts to achieve its goal of 40 million foreign visitors in 2020, officials said Friday.

The measure was included in a tourism action plan adopted at a meeting of the Ministerial Council on the Promotion of Japan as a Tourism-Oriented Country on the day.

The action plan also called for loosening multiple-entry visa requirements for Russians as soon as possible and measures to promote trips to Kyushu, which was hit hard by a series of earthquakes.

Among foreign nationals who need to obtain visas for entry to Japan, people from China, Russia, India, the Philippines and Vietnam accounted for 5.61 million of the 19.74 million foreign visitors to Japan in 2015.

For Chinese nationals, the government decided late last month to relax eligibility conditions for multiple-entry visas, double the validity period for the visas from five years to 10 years, and simplify visa application procedures for certain students. The action plan called for implementing the steps by the summer.

For Russians, the government also decided to loosen the eligibility requirements and extend the validity period from three years to five years.

Visa application procedures will also be simplified for some Indian students at an early date.