February , 2011

The New Growth Strategy, which was approved by the Japanese Cabinet in June 2010, sets out the national strategy of Japan for achieving economic growth as a tourism-oriented nation. Specifically, it states that, "By taking steps to attract more visitors from elsewhere in Asia and other foreign visitors to Japan, such as easing tourist visa requirements, creating appealing tourist attractions, improving the environment for foreign students studying in Japan, and undertaking publicity relations initiatives, Japan will increase the annual number of foreign visitors to 25 million by the beginning of 2020 and to 30 million in the future." To meet this objective, Japan took measures to ease the individual sightseeing visa requirements for Chinese in July 2010. As a result, approximately 3 to 8 times more visas were issued in each month after July 2010 compared to the same month of the previous year.

The Government of Japan also launched its services for the "Visa for Medical Stay" in January 2011. The aim of this visa is to promote Japanese medical services, such as medical check-ups and treatment, and related services in close cooperation with tourism. The visa is issued not only to patients but also their accompanying person(s) if necessary and as needed (multiple visas may be issued), and the system as a whole is designed to be more convenient, in consideration of humanitarian aspects, for foreign nationals wishing to visit Japan for medical purposes. We hope that the creation of the "Visa for Medical Stay" will encourage more foreign patients and others to visit Japan to access Japan's high-level medical technology and recuperate. At the same time, we hope that through touring Japan using this visa, visitors will experience the various aspects of Japanese culture and discover the many other appeals of Japan.
(For more information on the "Visa for Medical Stay", please refer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website: For those who would like to apply for the "Visa for Medical Stay")

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