It will be easier for businesspeople and academics from India and Vietnam to travel to Japan starting this month as multiple-entry visa terms are to be doubled for nationals of the two countries.

The easing of rules, effective Feb. 15, will affect people initially traveling for "business purposes and for cultural or intellectual figures," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Subsequent visits on the same visa can be social in nature.

Currently, Vietnamese and Indians can obtain multiple-entry visas of up to five years in duration. The change will grant them 10-year visas.

The 10-year visas will be the longest that Japan issues, the ministry said.

"We hope this will increase repeat visits to Japan and enhance convenience in businesses," Kishida told a news conference.

Holders of such multiple-entry visas will be restricted to visiting Japan for business purposes or academic exchanges but can then re-enter multiple times for tourism or to meet friends and families, the ministry said.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the planned visa relaxation at a summit with Nguyen Phu Trong, general secretary of Vietnam's ruling Communist Party, in September, and in a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December.

"These measures are expected to further advance people-to-people exchanges with Vietnam and India," the Foreign Ministry said in its statement.