Japan Waiving Visa for Filipino Tourists

The Japanese government is making arrangements to waive the visa that is currently required for tourists from the Philippines to visit Japan. The initiative comes as part of a revised plan expected to be rolled out in June that aims to make Japan a more tourism-focused country. 

Image Source: Asian Journal
The Japanese government is trying to attract more tourists from Southeast Asia, as Japan seeks to increase its number of annual foreign visitors to 20 million in time for the 2020 Olympics to be held in Tokyo. Last year, Japan announced that it would waive visas for tourists from Malaysia and Thailand, while visa requirements for tourists from the Philippines would be "relaxed." The Japanese government has been focused on tourism under the present administration as a means to spur economic growth in the country.

Tourists from Malaysia and Thailand increased by 61 percent over the previous year after the Japanese government waived their visas in July 2013. The move pushed Japan's overall foreign tourist arrivals beyond 10 million for the first time ever. In spite of the current travel visa required to enter Japan, approximately 110,000 Filipinos visited the country in 2013.

Analysts believe that with the new visa waiver in place, Japan can expect a large increase of visitors from the Philippines. Air travel between the two countries is also expected to rise dramatically in both directions after the successful establishment last year of a new air service agreement between the Philippines and Japan that increased the number of flight entitlements between the two countries. 

Both Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific have increased the number of flights that each carrier operates between the Philippines and Japan since the new agreement came into effect. Budget carrier AirAsia Philippines also plans to launch its own flights between the two countries later this year.

According to the Japan Tourism Agency, the country must increase efforts to attract tourists from Southeast Asian countries if it intends to meet its goal of 20 million annual foreign visitors. At present, China, South Korea, and Taiwan account for the largest number of tourist arrivals in Japan. Overstay rates among short-term visitors from the Philippines remains relatively low between 0.09 and 0.34 percent. Meanwhile, South Korea is also relaxing its visa policies in an effort to attract more visitors.

1 comment:

  1. If Japan was to do as Taiwan and honour a valid visa for US/UK/Shengen(european)/Australian etc; it would be a good start.


Powered by Blogger.