Japan To Waive Visa Requirements To Promote Tourism Ahead Of Fall Season: Report


New Delhi: In a bid to promote tourism, Japan is planning to waive tourist visa requirements from some countries as the government eases border restrictions that were implemented to curb Covid-19. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is likely to decide this week on the easing, which would also allow individual travelers to visit Japan without travel agency bookings, reported news agency Reuters citing broadcaster FNN.

The restrictions would be eased for tourists who have taken three vaccine doses or provide proof of a negative Covid test, FNN said. Japan had about 246,000 foreign visitors in 2021, far from a record 31.9 million in 2019.

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The government aims to abandon its daily limits on entry from overseas at 50,000, and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida may make the final decision as soon as this week, the broadcaster said.

What does it mean for travelers?

There was no requirement for tourist visas for 68 countries and regions before the pandemic. Now, the government may also do away with a daily cap on arrivals by October, the Nikkei newspaper reported on Sunday.

The easing of restrictions is partly because of the weakening yen as it may attract tourism.

In a television programme, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara on Sunday said “a weak yen is most effective in attracting inbound tourism”, Reuters reported. Kihara also noted that further steps must be taken to attract foreign visitors ahead of the Fall season, popular for mild weather and colorful foliage. It is considered one of the peak tourism seasons in Japan.

Last week, the government also raised the daily ceiling of inbound travelers to 50,000 from 20,000 and eliminated a requirement for pre-departure Covid tests, which have been seen as the most restrictive border measures among major economies.


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