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Pinoy Abroad

Japan govt relaxes visa rules for Pinoys starting July 1

June 27, 2013 11:20am

Tags: Japan
Filipinos planning to go to Japan for a short stay can apply for multiple entry visas beginning July 1, based on a recent order that also relaxed Japanese visa rules for other Asian countries.

The development is part of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-Japan Friendship and Cooperation celebrations, said a statement dated Tuesday from Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).

"[T]he Government of Japan has decided to begin issuance from July 1, of multiple entry visas for short-term stay to nationals of the Republic of the Philippines (ordinary passport holders) who reside in their home country," the statement said.

Filipino visitors to Japan who will apply for the multiple entry visas will be able to stay in Japan for up to 15 days. The visas will be valid for three years.

Visa applicants must fulfill "certain conditions," according to the statement, but have yet to specify the other details of application.

An ordinary Machine-Readable Passport (MRP) that meets International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards or an ordinary IC passport is also required.

"The further development of Japan-Philippines exchange is expected as a result of the issuance of multiple entry visas, including increases in the number of tourist[s] from the Philippines who visit Japan and the enhancement of the ease of business transactions between the two countries," the statement said.

The Philippines' Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) earlier said it expects an increase in Filipino visitors to the Japan as a result of the expected relaxation of visa policy.

"We welcome the decision of the Japanese government to take important steps to further boost tourism between Japan and the countries of Southeast Asia, including the Philippines,” DFA spokesman Raul Hernandez said.

Meanwhile, Japan has also issued statements regarding changes in visa rules for select Asian countries, which will take effect on July 1 as well.

A statement  the issuance of multiple entry visas for Vietnam nationals was also published, while Indonesian nationals who hold multiple entry visas will have their short-term stays extended.

For Thailand and Malaysia, meanwhile, Japan announced visa exemptions for nationals of these countries.  Gian C. Geronimo/VVP, GMA News
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