Channel NewsAsia

Japan to ease visa rules ahead of 2020 Olympics

Japan said Tuesday it would relax visa rules for tourists from Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam in a bid to double the number of foreign visitors ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

TOKYO: Japan said Tuesday it would relax visa rules for tourists from Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam in a bid to double the number of foreign visitors ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Tourists with Indonesian e-passports embedded with a microchip can be exempt from getting a visa, the foreign ministry said, while rules for those from the Philippines and Vietnam will also be "substantially relaxed".

"The objectives of these measures are to promote Japan as a tourism-oriented country with the... goal of attracting 20 million foreign visitors" annually, the ministry said in a statement.

The new rules would come into effect "as quickly as possible", it added.

Japan topped the 10-million visitor mark for the first time in 2013 as its tourism sector recovers after the quake-tsunami and nuclear disaster three years ago.

Officials are hoping to boost the number of arrivals as part of a wider effort to kickstart the world's number-three economy.

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