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Permanent Japan Visa Exemption Likely

Posted December. 19, 2005 03:04,   


The Japanese government is expected to permanently exempt visa requirements for short-stay Koreans after next February.

On December 18, the Asahi Shimbun quoted Japan’s transport minister Kazuo Kitagawa, as saying, “As Taiwanese are now exempt from visa requirements, I’ll try to exempt visas for Korean while securing their safety even after next February,” at a meeting for making a tourism village held in Oita prefecture on the previous day.

Kitagawa’s remarks can be interpreted that Japan will permanently exempt visas for short-stay Korean visitors in order to stimulate the nation’s tourism. A total of 6.14 million foreigners visited Japan last year, 1.59 million of whom were Korean, the largest number of tourists from any single nation, followed by Taiwan, with 1.08 million.

The Japanese government temporarily exempted visa requirements for Korean visitors beginning this March for six months during the 2005 Aichi Expo. Japan permanently exempted visas on Taiwanese starting August and extend the visa-exemption period for short-stay Koreans until next February.

Hun-Joo Cho hanscho@donga.com