• Kyodo News

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The number of Japan visas issued to individual Chinese tourists has seen a 5.6-fold jump so far in July from a year earlier as requirements were relaxed this month to include the middle class as well as the wealthy part, the Japan Tourism Agency said.

The figure came to 5,836 between July 1 and 23, compared with 1,033 from July 8 to 31, 2009, after tourist visas were issued to high-income individual Chinese in addition to group tour participants.

Commissioner Hiroshi Mizohata of the agency, who recently visited China, said, “We want to try to lower the hurdles (for getting a visa) as far as possible by securing understanding on this matter from related government ministries and agencies.”

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