Russia is ready to abolish visa regime with Japan
According to RIA Novosti, Russian Ambassador to Japan Yevgeny Afanasyev while speaking at the National Press Club in Tokyo declared that Russia is ready to simplify or abolish the currently existing visa regime with Japan. “Russia is ready to simplify and even abolish the visa regime with Japan. Negotiations are still in progress, but we are ready to do it”, – said E. Afanasyev.
According to the diplomat, Moscow and Tokyo are also discussing the possible visit of the Russian President Vladimir Putin to Japan. “It is difficult to say now what meetings we will have in 2016, but Russia is open to dialogue with Japan at all levels”, – Afanasyev was quoted by the newspaper Kommersant. In the opinion of the Ambassador, prior to the president's visit to Japan it is necessary to determine what joint projects can be held in future and what agreements, including those related to the visa regime issue, may be concluded between the two countries.
Recall that visa to Japan does not require payment of the visa fee; however, it is a rather long and time-consuming process. The check of visa documents at the consular department takes up to 4 days. Travelers can get short-term visas (for example, a single-entry tourist visa) as well as multiple-entry visas valid for up to 3 years.
According to the experts, the simplification and the complete abolition of the visa regime with Japan will contribute to the development of the tourism between the two countries. Currently, Japan is visited annually by approximately 60 thousand tourists from Russia, and about the same number of Japanese tourists comes to Russia. Against the background of the general growth of the flow of foreign tourists to Japan, in 2015 the number of tourists from Russia decreased by almost 17% compared to last year. Thus, for comparison, the number of tourists from China coming to Japan reaches about 4 million people per year.