No more VISA needed to enter Japan!

Yes that is right, according to World Bulletin, Japan has lifted visa requirements for a number of ASEAN countries to help spur the nation's tourism industry and to develop the relationships with Southeast Asian countries. 

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According to Foreign Ministry’s pronouncement, visa exemption will be effective for Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, and Viet Nam after July, 1. Ministry underlined the decision is adopted to celebrate “40th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation.” Visa exemption is valid for short time visit no longer than 15 days. Japan cautioned those travelers who want to stay longer must still need a visa.

The territorial dispute between Tokyo and Beijing lowered the Chinese travelers. Japan’s move to nationalize disputed islands at the East China Sea drew a harsh critic from Chinese’s officials and triggered a boycott from Chinese’s consumers and tourists. With no end in sight to the dispute, the Japanese government turned its eye to lucrative Southeast Asian market. Tokyo wants to attract 1 million Southeast Asian tourists this year, and 2 million in 2016. The number was 780,000 last year.

On the political side, the Japanese governments want to have a closer relationship with ASEAN countries. Nationalist leader Shinzo Abe who visited Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia after becoming prime minister is expected to tour Malaysia and the Philippines. During his visit, Japanese Prime Minister will try to develop relations with Southeast Asian countries to obstruct Beijing’s regional ambition, reports say. Malaysia and the Philippines have a territorial dispute with Beijing likewise Japan. Japanese PM Abe is due to host a special meeting of ASEAN leaders in Tokyo in December.

source: World Bulletin

UPDATE!

This is not applicable to Philippines according to Rappler news and we quote:

"MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - Starting July 1, Filipinos can apply for multiple-entry visas for short-term trips to Japan, part of the East Asian country's relaxed visa rules for select Southeast Asian countries.

"The Government of Japan has decided to begin issuance from July 1, of multiple entry visas for short-term stay to nationals of the Republic of the Philippines (ordinary passport holders) who reside in their home country," the Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said in a news release Tuesday, June 25.

The MOFA release said applicants will have to meet "certain conditions." They will also be required to have machine-readable passports that meet the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), or an ordinary IC passport.

The multiple-entry visas will allow Filipinos to stay in Japan for a period of 15 days, and the visas will be valid for up to 3 years.

"The further development of Japan-Philippines exchange is expected as a result of the issuance of multiple entry visas, including increase in the number of tourists from the Philippines who visit Japan and the enhancement of the ease of business transactions between the two countries," the MOFA said.

"Japan will continue to accept and deliver Visa applications for Japan through accredited agencies," the Japanese Embassy in Manila said in a news release Thursday, June 27.

The Embassy release also refuted a story circulating on social media that said the Japan visa has been waived."

source: Rappler

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