JAPAN announced this week that Indonesian passport holders will be granted 15-day visa-free entry, while the multiple-entry visa requirements for Philippine and Vietnamese nationals are to be “substantially relaxed”.
These moves are the latest in a chain of initiatives to throw Japan’s gates wide open to the growing source markets of South-east Asia by liberalising visa policy. Thailand and Malaysia were exempted of visa requirements mid last year (TTG Asia e-Daily, June 14, 2013).
According to a press statement from the Indonesian embassy in Tokyo issued on Tuesday, the visa-free facility will be available for Indonesian citizens bearing e-passports who register at the Japanese embassy or consulates within Indonesia.
Travellers without e-passports will still need to apply for a visa but the requirements will be streamlined, especially for those travelling in groups organised by tour operators.
While a date for implementation was not included in the announcement, the new regulation is expected to take effect before the end of this year.
The Indonesian embassy in Tokyo noted that the Japanese government is rolling out new visa regulations for the travelling public ahead of the diplomatic and service passport holders, which is currently underway.
Changes are also afoot for travellers coming from the Philippines and Vietnam.
In the same statement issued Tuesday, it said: “For nationals of the Philippines and Vietnam, multiple-entry visa requirements will be substantially relaxed, and requirements for single-entry tourism visas will be relaxed to a quasi-exemption-equivalent level when applied via specified travel agencies.”