Japan eases visa restrictions on Chinese visitors
Japanese foreign ministry has announced it will further ease tourist visa restrictions for individual Chinese travelers from September 1 onwards as well as extend the duration of stay permitted, from 15 days to a maximum of 30 days, in a bid to revive tourism. The government currently only issues visas to individual Chinese travelers after assessing their occupation and income levels. After the new policy is implemented, financial restrictions will be abolished.
A year after immigration control first introduced the individual tourist visa on July1, 2010, which previously Chinese travelers could only visit Japan by signing up a group tour with a government appointed travel agency, the number of Chinese travelers have been increasing rapidly. In year 2009 a total of 7688 visas were issued and in year 2010 the number increased many folds with more than 50,000 visas being issued.
It is hoping that these moves will help the country tap into the world’s fastest growing travel market and attract visitors to return after the Fukushima nuclear crisis, which was triggered by the earthquake and tsunami that hit the country in March this year, causing a slowdown in the economy.