June 17, 2014 2:00 pm JST

Japan to relax visa rules for tourists from Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam

TOKYO -- Japan will relax visa requirements for visitors from Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam as part of plans to roughly double the number of foreign visitors to the country to 20 million by 2020.

     At a meeting of the Ministerial Council on the Promotion of Japan as a Tourism-Oriented Country held on Tuesday, the Japanese government decided to relax requirements for short-term travel visas of up to 90 days for Indonesian visitors as early this year, and to ease requirements for passport carriers from the Philippines and Vietnam under certain conditions.

     About 137,000 Indonesians visited Japan in 2013. Indonesia will be the 67th country for which Japan exempts short-term visas.

     For the Philippines and Vietnam, Tokyo will launch what an official of the Japan Tourism Agency calls "a substantive visa exemption" by simplifying visa acquisition procedures for participants of tours offered by the travel agencies designated by the Japanese government.