Updated 2:12 PM EST, Wed, Jan 29, 2020

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Japan Considers Easing Visa Restrictions to Attract Chinese Tourists: Report

Japan is considering of relaxing its visa policies to attract more Chinese tourists.

(Photo : Getty Images) Japan is considering of relaxing its visa policies to attract more Chinese tourists.

Japan is reportedly considering to attract more Chinese tourists by easing restrictions on visas, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter said on Thursday.

The government is looking atlowering the prescribed minimum annual income a Chinese citizen needs to have to get a multiple-entry visa for 4 million yen ($35,749) to 3 million yen ($26,983), the insiders said.

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"We want to announce this policy when the time is right depending on the pace of increase in hotel accommodation," one of the sources, who refused to be named as the plan is not yet final, said.

According to Reuters, Japan is aiming to extend its tourism boom and offer support consumer spending. Since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assumed office in 2012, Japan has been gradually relaxing its visa requirement for Asian countries.

In fact, based on the figures of the Japan National Tourism Organization, the country's foreign visitors increased 21.8 percent to a record 24 million in 2016. Topping the visitor's list are Chinese tourists, accounting for 26.5 percent of all arrivals.

While Japan plans to ease its tourist visa requirements to attract more Chinese tourists, it also tightened its visa application process for students from Burma, China, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Vietnam. The country is starting to ask overseas students from the said countries to send further proof of their financial capabilities.

The policy followed to curb breaches of visa conditions. Japan usually allows students at language schools 28 hours a week, but some reportedly exceed the given timeframe. 

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