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Last Updated: May 20, 2007 - 10:48:48 AM
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Japan to entice Indian tourists with new visa policy
Apr 17, 2007 - 6:34:46 PM
More Indians have been visiting Japan in the last few years: 62,505 Indians visited Japan last year compared to 40,345 six years ago.

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[RxPG] Tokyo, April 17 - Driven by its burgeoning strategic and economic ties with India, Japan will Wednesday announce an easier procedure of granting visas for Indian tourists wishing to explore the 'Land of the Rising Sun' and its unique culture blending tradition and modernity.

The new system would involve a group of pre-identified tour operators, Masashi Hiraishi, first secretary in charge of tourism at the Japanese embassy, told IANS.

Details are being worked out, he added.

Japan National Tourism Organisation - will be organising a seminar Wednesday in Ashoka Hotel where the new system is expected to be unveiled, the Japanese official said a fortnight ahead of the formal launch of the India-Japan Tourism Exchange year here.

Minister of Tourism and Culture Ambika Soni and Japanese Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Tetsuzo Fuyushiba will launch the tourism year at the Japanese embassy April 30.

The liberalised visa regime for tourists is powered by a new perception of India in Japan as Asia's emerging power with a rapidly growing economy and it aims at making people-to-people contacts the centrepiece of the newly-forged strategic partnership between the two Asian powers.

The two countries are planning to double the two-way flow of tourists between them to 300,000 by 2010, the official said.

During Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Tokyo in December last year, the two Asian powers set the target for increasing the flow of visitors between the two countries to 300,000 by 2010, almost double the 2005 figures and to 500,000 by 2015.

More Indians have been visiting Japan in the last few years: 62,505 Indians visited Japan last year compared to 40,345 six years ago.

Japan is upbeat about its charm India initiative. Tokyo will participate in the South Asia Travel and Tourism Exchange - later this week and India will participate in the World Travel Fair in Japan in September.

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