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SBD Global/June 18, 2014/Olympics

Japan To Ease Visa Rules, Double Duty-Free Shops Ahead of 2020 Olympics

The Japanese Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that "it would relax visa requirement for four Asian countries in a bid to double the number of foreign visitors" ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, according to XINHUA. The four countries include Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and India. Under the new rules, e-passport holders of Indonesia "don't need visa to enter Japan on prior registration, the ministry said." For nationals of the Philippines and Vietnam, both multiple-entry visa and single-entry tourism visa requirements "will be substantially relaxed." In addition, the issuance of multiple-entry visas for nationals of India, which was decided when Japanese PM Shinzo Abe visited India in January this year, "will commence by this summer." The country "also decided to double the number of duty-free shops nationwide to around 10,000 in line with the government's efforts to increase foreign visitors" (XINHUA, 6/17). The governor of Fukushima Prefecture "hopes to invite torch runners for the Tokyo Olympic Games to run through his prefecture to demonstrate its recovery from the 2011 earthquake and nuclear crisis" (KYODO, 6/17).
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