Japan to offer e-visa to tourists starting April 2020

Family members visit Takino Shrine in Nikko, Tochigi prefecture on August 23, 2018.

The Japanese government has announced it will be introducing an electronic visa for tourists starting April 2020, according to The Japan Times.

The move is said to be an effort to achieve a goal of 60 million foreign visitors per year by the year 2030, starting with Chinese tourists, for single-entry visa applications due to the fact that 60 per cent of all visas issued in 2017 were for Chinese visitors, according to information released by the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

It was also reported that the Japanese government would also be adding other types of visas to the new online system.

According to The Japan Times, travel agencies would be able to help prospective visitors apply online, and the e-visa was meant to make the application process easier by reducing the workload at diplomatic departments and immigration control ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Channel News Asia reported that tourists hailing from Malaysia, Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and the United States would be granted visas upon arrival, in an effort by Japan to boost tourism.

The number of visitors to Japan this year is expected to top 30 million for the first time, despite the country's misfortune with multiple natural disasters.