The Japanese Government and the ruling coalition are taking procedures towards waiving visas for tourists from Vietnam, together with those from Indonesia, the Philippines, to make Japan a tourism-oriented country.

To this end, Japan is considering tourism as a spearhead in its strategy to spur its economic growth and looking to achieve its goal of increasing the annual number of foreign visitors to the country to 20 million in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Among the countries whose nationals need visas to enter Japan, the three Southeast Asian countries ranked high in terms of the tourist number. Last year, about 80,000 Vietnamese, 110,000 Filipinos and 140,000 Indonesians visited Japan.

Meanwhile, the number of tourists from Thailand and Malaysia, also in the Southeast Asian region, to Japan enjoyed a year-on-year surge of 61 percent to 630,000 after they were exempted from visas in June. It helped Japan’s overall number of foreign visitors hit 10 million in a year for the first time.-VNA