Wed, Aug 16, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Travel requirements for Japanese visitors relaxed

Staff writer, with CNA

Japanese will have an easier time visiting Taiwan after the government yesterday lifted the requirement that their passports be valid for at least three months from the time of entry, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Japanese can now visit as long as their passport remains valid during their stay, Bureau of Consular Affairs Deputy Director-General Winston Chung (鍾文正) said.

“We made the decision based on the friendly relations between Taiwan and Japan and the principle of reciprocity,” he told a regular news briefing at the ministry. “We believe the new measure will facilitate travel by Japanese to Taiwan.”

Japan has allowed Taiwanese to visit Japan with only a valid passport, Chung said, but Taiwan had required Japanese visitors to present a passport with at least three months of validity to enter without a visa.

Taiwan decided to lift the three-month requirement after Tokyo expressed hope for the change, he said.

Japanese and Taiwanese travelers can visit each other’s nation without a visa and stay for up to 90 days, and that will not change under the new passport measure.

Japan is among the main sources of foreign tourists to Taiwan, with 1,895,702 arrivals last year, according Tourism Bureau statistics.

The government is also making efforts to streamline visa procedures for Southeast Asian visitors and hopes to receive reciprocal treatment from their governments, Chung said.

The ministry will hold a cross-agency meeting next month to finalize the details of visa-free treatment for visitors from the Philippines, and hopes that Manila will reduce its fee for e-visas and eventually grant visa-free treatment for Republic of China passport holders, he added.

Taiwan offers visa-free treatment to citizens of Thailand and Brunei and e-visas to Philippine visitors; it issues multiple-entry visas valid for two years to people from ASEAN nations.

The measures have boosted visitor numbers from Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines, Chung said.

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