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Japan to waive visa fee for Chinese students
Updated: 2004-04-06 08:34

Japan will waive the visa commission charge for some short-term student visitors from China and ASEAN nations, the Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

The policy, which came into effect the same day, is designed to promote youth exchange between Japan and other Asian countries, the ministry said.

Based on the regulation, primary and secondary students from China for school excursions and sightseeing university students from Association of Southeast Asian Nations members will be exempted from the commission fee of some 3,000 yen (US$28) if their stay is within 90 days.

Japan has freed visas for visitors from Brunei and Singapore and waived short-term visa fee for all travelers from the Philippines.

ASEAN members include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam.

China waived short-term visa for Japanese visitors in September, 2003.

According to the World Tourism Organization, 16 million Japanese traveled abroad in 2002, while Japan only treated about 5 million visitors. Japan is ratcheting up efforts to realize the goal of drawing 10 million visitors by 2010. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi crusaded the campaign by starring in a TV commercial.

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