Japan to introduce electronic visas ahead of Tokyo Olympics

17-Oct-2018 Intellasia | Sports Promedia | 6:00 AM Print This Post

The Japanese government is set to introduce an electronic visa application system aimed at tourists, ahead of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

The plan has been devised with the country aiming to achieve a goal of 40 million foreign visitors by that year.

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The online innovation will first be rolled out to Chinese tourists for single-entry visa applicants, with this then followed by a more substantial implementation of the electronic visa scheme, with holidaymakers from other countries included. According to Japan’s foreign ministry, tourists from China make up almost 60 per cent of all visas handed out by the country in 2017.

The objective of the technology is to simplify the process, while reducing the workload of visa application handlers ahead of the Tokyo Games, which are expected to see a dramatic spike in inbound visitor figures. In 2017, Japan saw 28.7 million people visit the country from abroad.

The 40 million target put in place by the government is part of a longer term plan to attract 60 million visitors to Japan annually by 2030.

Last week, it was revealed that costs for the 2020 Games had risen steeply to $25 billion almost four times the initial forecast of $7.3 billion set out in Tokyo’s successful bid application.

According to a study carried out by the government’s Board of Audit, the major issue relates to debate over what falls under the banner of ‘Olympic spending’.

Expenditures such as inbound tourism, road constructions and security services were neglected from the costs, with the organising committee choosing to deem them as external fees, unrelated to the Games themselves.



Category: Japan

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