Japan To Lift Tourism Restrictions For Wealthy Chinese

According to Japan's Kyodo News, Japan's Tourism Department has expressed the intention of lifting the restriction on individual tourists for China's affluent class and plans to make relevant policies on visa issue in late March 2009.

Believing that there will be fewer illegal stays by rich Chinese traveling to Japan, Japan's Tourism Department has decided to loosen the policy for Chinese tourists with the aim of attracting 10 million foreign tourists in 2010.

Currently it is not known how Japan will qualify Chinese. It is thought that it may do so by taking into consideration credit card spend and airline mileage. On the other hand it may punish travel service providers whose clients are involved in illegal stays in Japan.

At present, Japan only issues travel visas to Chinese tour groups with five to 40 tourists or tour groups made of 2 to 3 family members whose annual income reaches CNY250,000.