The Japanese government will allow the issuance of multiple-entry visas for Filipino and Vietnamese tourists to boost tourism.
A report on Japan’s Kyodo News said a white paper on tourism was adopted on Tuesday (June 11) to increase the number of visitors from Southeast Asian nations by 2.5 times.
Out of the 8.37 million tourists who visited Japan in 2012, only 780,000 are from Southeast Asian countries.
The Japanese government hopes to improve that figure to at least two million by 2016.
On the same day that the Cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe approved the multiple-entry visas for Filipinos and Vietnamese, they also agreed to waive the visa requirements for Thailand and Malaysia.
The increase in tourist arrivals, Abe believed, will help boost Japan’s economy.
According to the white paper, the focus on Southeast Asian nations came amid the region’s positive economic outlook.
“The white paper called for more efforts to attract visitors from Southeast Asian countries as they are friendly to Japan and the middle-class and wealthy people have been on the rise there,” the report said.
By 2016, the Japanese government hopes to increase the overall number of tourists to 18 million. A long-term goal of 30 million visitors by 2030 was also mentioned.
BERNICE CAMILLE V. BAUZON