Tokyo mulls visa-free short-term travel for Russians

© AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko

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TOKYO, Feb 15, 2019, TASS. The Japanese government is studying the possibility of scrapping visa requirements for Russians paying short-term visits to the country, the Sankei newspaper said on Friday citing own sources, reported the TASS News Agency.

According to the paper’s sources, no visas will be required for Russians visiting Japan for the period of less than 90 days if they submit data from their foreign passports to a Japanese diplomatic mission beforehand. Multiple visa-free entry within a certain timeframe can also be permitted.

According to the paper, the timeframe for introducing this system is yet to be determined. The matter could be raised during a meeting between the foreign ministers of Russia and Japan, which is expected to take place on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference on February 16.

Earlier, Japan eased visa requirements for Russians twice. As a result, the number of Russian tourists in Japan reached almost 95,000 people in 2018, up 23% year-on-year.

After talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the countries had set the goal of increasing the bilateral tourist flow to 400,000 people by 2023. Tokyo believes that easing of visa requirements would create more favorable conditions for talks on concluding a peace treaty.

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