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Taiwanese tourists visiting Japan for up to 90 days will be given visa waivers in a bid to promote tourism and other exchanges between the two countries.

The Foreign Ministry said the measure, approved by the Cabinet on Friday, will take effect Sept. 26 — the day after an ongoing temporary visa waiver program for Taiwanese visitors to the Aichi World Expo expires with the end of the event.

The Diet unanimously enacted legislation Aug. 5 to permanently waive visa requirements for tourists from Taiwan, from which about 1 million people visit Japan every year.

An official declined to say whether the visa waiver program will automatically cover private visits to Japan by Taiwanese politicians.

Japan in the past has granted tourist visas to former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui, infuriating China every time. Beijing reviles Lee and accuses him of actively seeking independence.

South Korean tourists

NEW YORK (Kyodo) Japan will extend its provisional visa waiver for tourists from South Korea until February, Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura said Friday.

The temporary measure of giving 90-day visa waivers was implemented for the six-month Aichi World Expo.

Machimura said Japan will decide by February whether to make the waiver permanent.

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