Vietnamese leader seeks Japan visa waiver

By Vu Anh   November 27, 2023 | 05:54 pm PT
Vietnamese leader seeks Japan visa waiver
President Vo Van Thuong (L) shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio before the talks in Tokyo on Nov. 27 2023. Photo by VNA
President Vo Van Thuong has called on the Japanese government to ease entry procedures and waive visas for Vietnamese citizens during a meeting with Prime Minister Kishida Fumio.

During talks at the Japanese prime minister's office on Monday Thuong hoped Japan would soon start issuing electronic and multiple-entry visas for Vietnamese visiting for personal purposes.

Vietnam waives visas for Japanese nationals visiting for up to 45 days, but Japan does not reciprocate.

Nearly half a million Vietnamese live in Japan.

Vietnam has been one of Japan's seven biggest tourism markets this year with 397,000 arrivals, according to the Japan National Tourism Organization.

The two leaders agreed to further strengthen economic ties and expand cooperation in areas such as innovation, technology transfer, digital transformation, and green transformation.

Thuong is on an official visit from Nov. 27 to 30 at the invitation of the Japanese government.

Vietnam and Japan established diplomatic relations in 1973, upgraded ties to a strategic partnership in 2009 and to an extensive strategic partnership in 2014.

On Monday, the countries officially upgraded their relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership, the highest level of partnership between countries.

Japan is one of Vietnam's most important economic partners, biggest official development assistance provider, second biggest partner in terms of labor cooperation, third in terms of investment and tourism, and fourth in trade.

Bilateral trade was worth nearly US$50 billion last year, with both nations' exports being almost equal.

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