SHANGHAI (Nikkei)–A total of 142 Chinese citizens applied for tourist visas to Japan on Wednesday, the first day that such applications could be filed.
For Chinese citizens, visas for pleasure purposes were previously issued only when traveling as part of a group. By offering visitor visas to Chinese individuals with a certain level of income, the Japanese government hopes they will spend a big chunk of money in Japan.
Visa applications were filed at the Japanese embassy in Beijing, as well as at consulates general in Shanghai and Guangzhou. Some of those who applied for individual visas on Wednesday are set to travel to Japan on July 8.
To prevent unlawful overstays, the Japanese government has set up certain criteria for issuing the visas, including a yearly income of 250,000 yuan, or about 3.5 million yen.
(The Nikkei Business Daily July 3 edition)