Japan Boosting Visa Issuance while Scaling Down ODA

Politics

Tokyo, May 21 (Jiji Press)--The number of visas issued by the Japanese government has been increasing markedly, on the back of the government's vigorous efforts to ease visa requirements for developing and other countries.

Relaxing visa requirements is seen as an important diplomatic measure, after government spending for official development assistance roughly halved from the fiscal 1997 peak of 1,168.7 billion yen due to severe fiscal conditions, people familiar with the matter said.

Since fiscal 2011, the ODA budget has remained at around 550 billion yen, according to the Foreign Ministry.

Meanwhile, the number of visas issued turned upward in calendar 2014 and rewrote the record high for the fifth straight year in 2018 at 6,952,804, quadruple the 2013 level.

Constantly upgrading the numerical target for foreign visitors, the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been eagerly expanding the scope of eligible visa applicants.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press