Japan To Lift Restrictions On Chinese Tourists

In a bid to attract more Chinese tourists to visit Japan, 15 Japanese tourism enterprises have submitted a letter of advice to Hiroshi Mizohata, the commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency.

The letter points out that the restrictions on annual income for granting visas to individual Chinese tourists are the main reason that there has not been a significant increase in the number of Chinese tourists visiting Japan.

In addition, the letter also proposes to make multiple entry visas available for tourists to attract more wealthy people since now these are only available to business travelers. Moreover, as most Chinese tourists do not speak Japanese or English, and there is no official body in Japan for handling emergencies or complaints from Chinese tourists, the letter suggests that a "Chinese information center" be established to provide better service.

Earlier media reported that Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs; the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism; the Ministry of Justice; and the National Police Agency have decided that from July 1, 2010, the minimum level for individual tourist visa applicants' annual income will fall from the current CNY250,000 to somewhere between CNY30,000 and CNY50,000.