Japan relaxes visa norms for Indians


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In what could be dubbed as yet another testament to the unfolding ties between India and Japan, Tokyo has relaxed rules for multiple entry visas for short term stay for Indian passport holders. The decision could also be seen as Japan’s favourable response to India’s recent decision to roll out visa-on-arrival facility to Japanese nationals.

Japan has extended the validity period of such visas from a maximum of 3 years to 5 years. The duration of visit on multiple entry visas, including tourism and business, has also been increased to 30 days from 15 days. India and Japan had agreed to ease visa restrictions during Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to India in December 2015.

With the new relaxed visa norms, Japanese authorities say that the eligibility for multiple-entry visas has been expanded to include people with travel records to Japan for short-term visit in the past three years. It will also be extended to those with travel records as temporary visitor to any other G7 countries.

Economic partnership and cultural bonding

During Mr Abe’s visit India and Japan had stressed on the importance of facilitating exchanges between people of the two countries by easing the visa procedures for nationals of both countries. India and Japan have also been seeking to enhance cooperation among the businessmen of both countries. Tough visa norms were often cited as a hindrance by businessmen of both countries.

Japan has extended the validity of visas for business purposes and also for cultural and intellectual figures from 5 to 10 years. India and Japan have been actively engaged in enhancing people-to-people contact in recent years. In a part of such efforts, Japan introduced multiple-entry visas for Indian nationals in July 2014. Japan has acknowledged that strengthening the bonding between people of the two countries was important to broaden its relationship with India.