China welcomes Japan's relaxation of tourist visa rules

21:03, July 01, 2010      

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China Thursday welcomed the Japanese government's decision to relax tourist visa rules applicable to Chinese nationals.

"We hope this decision and other moves by both nations will help promote exchange, understanding and friendly ties between the two peoples," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a regular press conference.

The Japanese government Thursday eased conditions for the granting of tourist visas to Chinese nationals to encourage Chinese tourists to visit Japan and boost the nation's flagging retail sector.

Japan began granting tourist visas to individual Chinese nationals earning 250,000 yuan (36,000 U.S. dollars) a year or more in July 2009.

The new rules require Chinese individuals to be earning 60,000 yuan or more per year.

"Middle-class Chinese families with a certain income level and employment status can make trips to Japan without joining group tours," Takahisa Kashiwagi, executive director of the Beijing office of the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), said.



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