Japan will introduce an electronic visa system for Chinese tourists in April 2020. The Japan online visa system would simplify the process of getting a visa to travel to Japan. In 2017 alone, about 7 million Chinese tourists traveled to Japan.
In an effort to reach the 60 million foreign visitors goal by 2030, Japan has decided to implement an online system that would speed up the visa processing time. Another objective of the new electronic visa program would be to reduce the workload at diplomatic missions and strengthen immigration controls.
To attract more foreign visitors Japan has already relaxed visa requirements for citizens of several countries. Another effort to draw in more tourism is the increase of low-cost carriers and making more flights available to foreign travelers.
According to the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) and estimated number of international travelers to Japan in October 2018 was about 2.6 million, a 1.8 increase from the previous year for the same period.
Led by visitors from China, Japan is welcoming more and more tourists each year. In 2017, Japan attracted 28.69 million international tourists. The country has 21 World Heritage Sites that include impressive landmarks such as the Himeji Castle and the Historic Monuments in Ancient Kyoto.
The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report from 2017 ranked Japan as 4th out of 141 countries gaining high scores in most areas especially health, hygiene, cultural resources, business travel and safety.
The online visa for Japan will be first available to Chinese nationals
Japan will launch an electronic visa application system in April 2020. The data gathered from the applicants would be shared with airlines. This online system will be first available to Chinese nationals who wish to visit Japan for short-term stays. The electronic visa will be a single entry visa. The Foreign Ministry of Japan reported that tourist visas for Chinese visitors accounted for nearly 60 percent of all the visas issued in 2017.
The country is also getting ready to host the Olympics in 2020. The online visa system for Japan would tighten immigration controls and contribute to security during this time.
According to reports, the government has the intention of adding other types of visas to the new electronic system. It is likely that the electronic visa for Japan will be made available for other countries. More details will be shared by the government as the system is developed.
There are 68 countries that can travel to Japan without applying for a visa. Citizens of these 68 countries can stay in Japan for short-term stays of up to 90 days. However, citizens of many other countries are required to apply for a visa at an embassy or consulate. The electronic visa to Japan would simplify the process of obtaining a visa.