Japan considers relaxing visa requirements

April 21, 2013 at 10:44 AM

TOKYO, April 21 (UPI) -- Japanese officials said the government will explore relaxing visa requirements to encourage more tourists from Southeast Asia to visit Japan.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has said it is necessary to attract more travelers to increase the number of foreign visitors by 25 million by 2020, Kyodo reported.

In 2012, more than 8 million foreign travelers came to Japan.

Officials said the government will consider waiving visas for tourists from Thailand and Malaysia, and may offer multiple-entry visas to travelers from the Philippines and Vietnam.

There are concerns that relaxing visa requirements could result in an increase in the number of foreign nationals working illegally in the country, Kyodo reported.

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