Japan considers visa exemption for Vietnamese visitors
The Japanese government is considering an initiative to grant visa exemption for citizens from Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines, in an effort to turn Japan into an attractive tourist destination.
A Tokyo-based Vietnam New Agency correspondent reported the move comes hot on the heels of a similar policy for visitors from Thailand and Malaysia introduced in July 2013.
Statistics show the total number of Thai and Malaysian visitors to Japan increased 61% to 630,000 in the second half of 2013 after the new policy was implemented.
Meanwhile, those from Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines to Japan last year were 80,000, 140,000 and 110,000 arrivals respectively.
The government led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to develop tourism into a spearhead industry in its economic growth revitalising strategy, aiming to attract approximately 20 million foreign visitors annually till 2020 when Japan hosts Summer Olympics Games.
Japan is granting visa exemption for visitors from more than 60 countries and territories worldwide.