The Justice Ministry will change the design of the landing permission sticker that is affixed to the passports of foreign nationals at immigration control from the current paulownia plant to Mt. Fuji and a cherry blossom, starting from the beginning of next year, at the earliest.
Ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, the ministry decided to use motifs that symbolize Japan and are broadly recognised overseas so that foreign tourists can enjoy the sticker as a memento of their visit.
The landing permission sticker is placed on the passports of inbound foreign visitors by immigration inspectors - regardless of visa type, such as tourist or business, or the duration of their stay.
The new design features a light pink petal from a cherry blossom tree in front of a light blue Mt. Fuji, with the mountain's peak covered in snow.
The paulownia has been used for the sticker-type landing permission stamp since 2003. However, it is not so familiar to foreigners.
In 2016, 24.04 million foreigners visited Japan, hitting a record high for the fourth straight year. The government has set a goal of increasing the number of inbound foreign visitors to 40 million by 2020.