Japan is working on a plan to extend the maximum stay for foreign visitors who meet certain income and asset requirements to one year, aiming to encourage spending and real estate investment.
Under the current system, foreigners who come to Japan for tourism may
stay up to 90 days. By raising this cap for well-off visitors, the
government hopes to attract investment in real estate such as vacation
homes and condominiums, as well as make it easier to visit scenic spots
in areas outside Tokyo and Kyoto.
The requirements have not
yet been determined. Australia, which has a similar system, limits
applicants to those 55 or older with at least 65,000 Australian dollars
($59,956) in annual income and assets of at least 750,000 Australian
The government aims to determine age, income and
asset requirements by summer, using examples from other countries as a
reference, and set up the program as early as this year.
Japan hopes to double the number of foreign tourists to 20 million a
year by 2020. This proposal will be incorporated in a revised plan for
encouraging tourism to be completed in June.
to be included is setting up a priority lane at Narita and Kansai
airports next fiscal year, for foreign VIPs such as government officials
and businessmen traveling first class. Such arrangements, which allow
arrivals and departures to proceed faster, are common overseas, but none
have yet been put in place in Japanese airports.