Japan Relaxing Visa Requirements for Filipino Nationals

The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that effective July 1, 2013, it will begin relaxing visa requirements for travellers from Southeast Asian countries in an effort to increase tourism to boost the nation's economic growth. The decision comes in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Japanese-Asean friendship and cooperation.

japan visa philippines
Image Source: Wikimedia
Visa requirements for tourists from Thailand and Malaysia will be waived while Vietnamese and Filipino travellers will be issued new multiple entry visas.

The multiple entry visa for Filipino tourists will enable them to visit Japan several times within a three year period as long as the maximum stay does not exceed fifteen days per visit.

According to Japan's Foreign Minister, Fumio Kishida, the country hopes that the measures will further develop relationships between the Philippines and Japan while increasing tourism and creating a healthier business environment.

The ageing and shrinking population of Japan is forcing the country to seek alternative measures for boosting the country's economic growth and increasing the number of foreign visitors is one way the country hopes to accomplish its goals. Japan hopes to increase the number of tourists to 30 million visitors annually by 2030. The country currently hosts just over 8 million visitors per year with 9 percent coming from Southeast Asia. The government would like to more than double the number of visitors from Southeast Asian countries by 2016.

Traveller's Notes:
  • Effective July 1, Japan will issue multiple entry visas for Filipino passport holders who reside in their home country.
  • Filipino nationals must fulfil certain conditions and be in possession of an ordinary machine-readable passport meeting International Civil Aviation Organization regulations.
  • Period of stay will not exceed 15 days.
  • Validity of visa will be up to 3 years. 

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