The government of Japan will be relaxing visa requirements for visitors from Southeast Asian countries beginning on Monday, July 1, 2013. The government is hoping to attract more travelers from the fast-growing economies, in order to improve its own economic growth. Japan will be waiving visa requirements for tourists from Thailand and Malaysia, as well as offer multiple-entry visa to Filipino and Vietnamese travelers.
This recent move has also happened at the same time as the 40th anniversary of the ASEAN-Japan dialogue, a project intended to improve international relations. The recent visa waiver will be applicable to Thai travelers to Japan who will stay in the country less than 15 days and to tourists from Malaysia whose visit is not longer than three months.
The ministry said that the waiver of visa will be applicable only to those people with an IC-equipped passport. The Filipino and Vietnamese travelers will have the benefit of multiple visa entry, which will allow them to visit the country within a period of three years.
Fumio Kishida, Foreign Minister, on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 said, ?I hope that (the measures) will further develop relationships between these countries, such as an increase of travelers from these nations and improvement of convenience in the business (environment)?. Japan is these days facing a shrinking and graying population and the boost of foreign visitors will be one of the growth strategies of the Japanese government.