Many Vietnamese travel firms will be granted the relaxations of visa requirements, the Embassy of Japan was quoted by the Saigon Times Daily as saying.

The Embassy will release the list of firms subjected to this loosened visa policy. The move would help boost Vietnamese tourists to Japan in the time to come, added the newspaper.

Tu Quy Thanh, director of Lien Bang Travelink Company, said his Japan tours were not organised regularly in the past due to stringent visa requirements and high prices. But now his company has offered one Japan tour a week and will increase to four trips a week next month.

“Easier visa requirements will result in more tourists, and we then can book air tickets and hotel rooms earlier to enjoy good prices. If so, I think the tour price can be 20 percent lower than the current one, at almost 30 million VND, and thus there will be more tour buyers,” Thanh said.

Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on June 17 announced to loosen visa requirements for citizens of Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam, with multiple-entry visa requirements for Philippine and Vietnamese citizens relaxed significantly. Besides, single-entry visa requirements for tourists from these two countries are eased and almost equivalent to visa exemption if tourists apply for visa via an appointed travel agency.

Like Thanh, the directors of many other travel firms are also hopeful about tourist growth with Japan’s fresh visa policy.

Director Tran Xuan Hung of Viking Travel Company said his company targets not only tourists but also those wanting to get vocational training in Japan for a couple of months and businessmen wanting to study Japanese technology.

Hung also added that many Vietnamese people are interested in short time vocational training in Japan while many Japanese small and medium enterprises are willing to offere these trainings.

A representative of Samurai Tour, which specialises in organising tours to Japan, said that the number of tourists is growing well. Samurai Tour is mulling medical tours enabling tourists to get medical treatments and checkups in Japan.

Late last year, 24 travel firms clubbed together to operate Japan tours to boost sales. A similar club was set up in Da Nang City last month with the participation of travel firms in central Vietnam.

The number of Vietnamese tourists to Japan increased to 90,000, an increase of 150 percent against last year's figure. The upward trend is forecast to continue growing this year thanks to promotion activities of Japan’s tourism body in Vietnam and its special policies offered to Vietnamese tourists.

Japan expects to attract 200,000 Vietnamese arrivals in 2015.-VNA