The Japanese government will introduce an electronic system for tourist visa applications in April 2020 in an effort to help achieve its goal of 40 million inbound visitors by that year, government sources said on Sunday.
The online system will first be available to Chinese tourists for single-entry visa applications and then to travellers from other countries, the source said. Tourist visas for Chinese visitors accounted for nearly 60% of all the visas issued in 2017, according to the foreign ministry.
Visitors will be able to apply for tourist visas online through travel agencies.
Japan had a record 28.7 million foreign visitors in 2017, up 19.3% from the previous year, and their spending last year rose 17.8% to an all-time high of 4.42 trillion yen (US$39 billion).
As the government is looking to boost tourism as a pillar of its growth strategy, it aims to bring visitor numbers to 40 million by 2020 and 60 million by 2030.
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