Japan's temporary visa-free plan has not changed: MOFA


Thu, Dec 09, 2004 - Page 2

Japan's plan to offer visa-free treatment to visitors from Taiwan during the six months of the Expo 2005 Aichi, beginning on March 1, remains unchanged, Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Michel Lu (呂慶龍) said yesterday.

He responded to a report by Japan's Kyodo News on Tuesday that the Japanese government would not grant "permanent" visa-free treatment to Taiwanese visitors starting on March 1.

Lu said that the Japanese government had never said that it would grant "permanent" visa-free privileges to visitors from Taiwan.

He said ministry officials had contacted Japanese authorities on Tuesday and were told that the six-month visa-free plan starting in March remains unchanged.

Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura said last Friday that, based on revised laws, Japan will offer visa-free entry to Taiwanese tourists during the March 25-Sept. 25 expo in a bid to attract more visitors.

After that, Machimura said, Japan may consider granting "permanent" visa-free treatment to Taiwanese if they have not done anything wrong or illegal in Japan during the period.

An official in charge of general affairs at the Interchange Association's Taipei Office said yesterday that his office had not received any information from the Interchange Association's headquarters in Tokyo about any change in the visa-free plan.