Relaxation of Visa Requirements for Chinese Citizens
1. On January 19, the relaxed visa requirements for Chinese citizens that were announced on November 8, 2014, will come into effect.
2. The specific details of the relaxed requirements are as follows.
(1) Multiple-entry visa for applicants with a short-term business purpose, and for cultural or intellectual figures
The previous requirements, such as having records of travel to Japan or providing a letter of reference from a guarantor in Japan, will be abolished.
(2) Multiple-entry visas for individual tourists visiting Okinawa or one of the three prefectures in Tohoku
Previously, visas were given only to “applicants with sufficient financial capability and their families.” This financial requirement will be relaxed and multiple-entry visas will now be issued to “applicants with a certain level of financial capability and their families if applicants have a travel record as temporary visitor to Japan in the last three years.” Furthermore, the applicant’s family members, who have been hitherto not permitted to travel to Japan on their own, will be allowed to do so. In conjunction with this relaxation, the period of stay will be reduced from 90 days to 30 days.
(3) Multiple-entry visas for individuals with substantially high incomes
Multiple-entry visas (valid for five years; the period of stay allowed for each visit is 90 days) will be issued to “applicants with substantially high incomes and their families.” This visa category imposes no requirement to visit any specific destination in Japan.
3. Chinese tourists visiting Japan have increased in recent years. The expansion of people-to-people exchanges between Japan and China is contributing to greater mutual understanding between the two countries, to the government’s initiatives to promote Japan as a tourism-oriented country, as well as to vitalizing local economies in Japan. The abovementioned relaxation of visa requirements is expected to stimulate even further people-to-people exchanges between Japan and China.
Increase in the number of Chinese citizens visiting Japan (estimate of the Japan National Tourism Organization)
The number of Chinese citizens visiting Japan between January and November 2014 was 2,219,300 people (an increase of 82.2% year on year).