The Japanese Embassy in the Philippines stated that the “substantial relaxation of multiple visas” for the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam began on September 30, 2014. The decision is a tactical one designed to enhance Japan’s image as a tourism-oriented country. The Embassy even said that the country has the long-term goal of attracting 20 million foreign visitors.

The new privileges for multiple-entry visas include:

Relaxed visa issuance requirements Visa validity extended to “up to five years” For applicants living outside of their countries of origin, an opportunity to apply at the diplomatic mission (i.e., akin to an Embassy/Consulate) which has jurisdiction over their place of residence

Before the move to loosen its visa policy, Japan only issued multiple-entry visas to businessmen, artists, specialists and immediate family members of Japanese residents.