ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronCrossEye IconFacebook IconIcon FacebookGoogle Plus IconLayer 1InstagramCreated with Sketch.Linkedin IconIcon LinkedinShapeCreated with Sketch.Icon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailMenu BurgerIcon Opinion QuotePositive ArrowIcon PrintRSS IconIcon SearchSite TitleTitle ChevronTwitter IconIcon TwitterYoutube Icon
Politics

Japan to accept tourist visa applications online

Chinese tour groups first to benefit ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Tourists take pictures of a famous railway crossing in Kamakura. (Photo by Shohei Nomoto)

TOKYO -- The Japanese government will put in place an online system for accepting tourist visa applications, starting with Chinese traveling in groups in fiscal 2020, ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

Representatives from agencies handling Chinese tour groups will be able to submit traveler information electronically. The program will be gradually expanded to other nations and could eventually cover individual tourists and those coming for short-term business visits. 

As the nation looks to achieve an annual 40 million visitors in 2020, easing the visa application process has become imperative.

Currently tourists from 68 countries and regions are exempt from obtaining visas. As for visitors from non-exempt nations, the Foreign Ministry has been working to extend the duration of approved stays and simplify the process. Electronic applications will also help reduce the administrative work.

Australia and the U.S. are among the nations ahead in adopting online visa applications, with some countries completely eliminating the need to visit embassies or visa-issuing outposts for approval. Japan will try to develop an online system that does not compromise on necessary screening, with implementation targeted for April 2020.

Get unique insights on Asia, the most dynamic market in the world.

Offer ends September 30th

You have {{numberReadArticles}} FREE ARTICLE{{numberReadArticles-plural}} left this month

Subscribe to get unlimited access to all articles.

Get unlimited access
NAR site on phone, device, tablet

{{sentenceStarter}} {{numberReadArticles}} free article{{numberReadArticles-plural}} this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most dynamic market in the world.

Benefit from in-depth journalism from trusted experts within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends September 30th

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media