JAPAN will ease visa restrictions for India’s
travellers as part of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for tourism signed
between the two countries last week.
In the MoU, Japan agreed to issue multiple-entry visas
with validity of up to three years for Indian nationals, who currently are only
allowed single-entry visas for short visits.
India is among the
top 10 source markets for Japan, registering 18 per cent year-on-year growth in
2013 for a total of 160,000 arrivals.
“Multiple-entry visas for Indians to enter Japan
will enable us to create itineraries combining trips to the US west coast for
business travel and tourism. Moreover, longer visa validity can prompt repeat
visits within a shorter time frame. This will encourage increased tourist
traffic between the two countries and may lead to an increase in flight
Commenting on Japanese traffic into India, Parvez
Dewan, secretary – tourism, Government of India, the Indian signatory, said:
“Buddhist heritage tourism draws Japanese tourists to India.
“(The number of) Japanese tourists availing of
visas on arrival (VoA) has grown significantly and the highest number of VoAs
ever was issued to Japanese visitors in 2013.” About 220,000 Japanese tourists
visited India in 2013.