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Japan to further relax visa regulations for more Asian markets
Mimi Hudoyo, Jakarta, October 3, 2014

JAPAN National Tourism Organization (JNTO) is maximising new visa regulations, airline routes and the devaluation of the yen to boost traffic from South-east Asia and India.


Kiyonori Ogawa, director, marketing & promotion department, who is in charge of South-east and India for the NTO, said: “We have seen high growth rate in arrivals from the Philippines (63.7 per cent) and Vietnam (49.8 per cent) in the first eight months of the year (compared to the same period last year) thanks to the introduction of multiple-entry visas last year and the devaluation of the yen that makes Japan more affordable to  travellers.”


This year, tourists from both countries arranging trips through designated travel companies are eligible for a single-entry visa-free facility and more relaxed multiple-entry visa requirements.


In India, multiple-entry visas will be implemented this year.


“Accessibility between India and Japan is actually not an issue. There are direct flights from Mumbai and New Delhi to Tokyo (Narita), and there are also flights via Singapore and Bangkok,” said Ogawa. “The issue with India is the visa requirements and the need for more promotional activities in the market.”


And by March 2015, Japan will also begin allowing Indonesian passport holders to enter without a visa.


JNTO data shows that the relaxation of visa requirements for the country's key South-east Asian countries last year resulted in over 50 per cent growth in arrivals between January and August, compared to the same period last year.


The exemptions of visa requirements for Malaysia and Thailand have managed to boost arrivals by 54 per cent and 57 per cent respectively.

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