Vietnam among top three recipients of Japanese visas in 2018

By Nguyen Quy   May 1, 2019 | 06:31 pm PT
Vietnam among top three recipients of Japanese visas in 2018
People cross a street in the Akihabara shopping district in Tokyo. Photo by Reuters/File
Vietnamese nationals received the third highest number of visas issued by the Japanese government last year.

The top two spots went to China and the Philippines.  

Figures released by Japan’s Foreign Ministry earlier this week show that 286,900 Japanese visas were issued to Vietnamese in 2018, up 38 percent from a year ago. 

China topped the list of recipients with 5.45 million Japanese visas, accounting for almost 80 percent of the total number of visas issued for foreign nationals last year, Japan’s public broadcaster NHK said, citing sources from the ministry.

The Philippines ranked second while Indonesia claimed the fourth spot on the list of countries and territories issued with the highest number of Japanese visas.

Last year, Japanese diplomatic agencies granted a record 6.95 million visas to foreign nationals, a four-fold increase over 2013.  

Currently, Japan offers a visa waiver to over 60 countries, mainly European nations. It has also relaxed visa requirements for many other countries in an effort to boost its tourism industry.

As Tokyo gears up to host the summer Olympics and Paralympic Games in 2020, the Foreign Ministry expects to continue issuing rising numbers of visas, NHK said.

Thanks to the visa exemptions, duty-free promotions and ancient tourist attractions, Japan has been attracting increasing numbers of Vietnamese tourists in recent years. Last year, 34,000 Vietnamese visited Japan, up 36.7 percent from a year ago.

Survey results recently released by Ho Chi Minh City-based market research firm Q&Me show almost a quarter of over 1,200 respondents chose Japan as their most desired travel destination.

The number of Vietnamese living in Japan jumped 26.1 percent from a year earlier to 330,835 in 2018, accounting for 8 percent of foreign nationals, the Japan Times reported.

Vietnamese have overtaken Filipino nationals as the third largest minority group behind China and South Korea.

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