Russian city to waive visa for Japanese tourists

Featured Japan - October 29th, 2012

A Russian city in the far east of the country plans to waive visa requirements, eyeing tourists from neighboring Japan, underlining the government’s focus on the region’s development.

The proposal to lift visa requirements for foreign citizens was submitted to the federal government on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit which was held in the city of Vladivostok. Igor Pushkaryov, mayor of Vladivostok, told Asahi Shimbun that the waiver would grant foreign visitors, arriving by plane, up to 72 hours to remain in the city, as the city expects a sharp rise in the numbers of Japanese tourists.

Asahi Shimbun reports the federal government is currently discussing which countries will be included in the waiver. “We want to offer the regime to Japanese nationals first,” Mr. Pushkaryov said.

The Russian Far East has been the recent focal point of development in the country, which gained momentum during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation as Russian President Vladimir Putin promoted the region as an investment hub.