(UPDATED April 23, 2014) MANILA, Philippines – Soon, Filipinos will no longer experience the hassle of applying for a visa before going to the Land of the Rising Sun after the Japanese government is said to be leaning towards approving the “visa-free” entry privileges of Filipino nationals.
According to Manolo Lopez, Philippine Ambassador to Japan, Pinoys may start going to Japan without the aid of a visa starting June of 2014.
“It seems na ili-lift nila itong June. May nakausap akong isang Japanese official this (Tuesday) afternoon who told me it may happen anytime very soon,” Lopez said in an interview with dzMM last week.
(It seems that they will lift it this June. I spoke with a Japanese official this afternoon who told me it may happen anytime soon.)
Lopez said that the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo is simply awaiting the official statement to be issued by the Japanese government.
The visa-free privilege (if officially granted) to the Philippines is said to strengthen the economic ties between the Philippines and Japan—one of the super economies of the world with some of the strictest policies when it comes to traveling. The rekindled partnership also hopes to attract more foreign investors and tourists to both nations.
Japan aims to welcome 20 million tourists within six year. This goal may not be too far off as the 2020 Olympic Games will be held in Tokyo.
Lopez also noted that since Shinzō Abe returned to power in December 2012, the Japanese economy experienced significant and steady growth. However, despite economic growth, Japan remains to be among the countries with the highest cost of living.
“[Plan carefully] para hindi kayo mabibigla sa presyo,” Lopez said.
(Plan carefully so you won’t get shocked with the cost.)
With report from Ellen Fernando and Tarra Quismundo