China to look into request for resuming visa-free policy for Japanese visitors to China: FM

2024-01-30 08:56:02Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

China always attaches high importance to facilitating foreigners' visits to China, including Japanese citizens, and will intensively look into the request from all sectors in Japan for resuming the visa-free policy to travel to China, the spokesperson of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Wang Wenbin said at a regular press conference on Monday.

The remarks were made in response to a media question regarding when China may consider resuming the visa-free policy with Japan, against the backdrop of visa-exemption arrangements that have recently taken place between China and some regional countries including Thailand and Singapore.

China has not yet resumed the visa-free policy for Japan, but many Japanese companies hope it will soon, as China is their major market and trading partner.

Speaking at Monday's press conference, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that "we will intensively look into the request from all sectors in Japan for resuming the visa-free policy to travel to China."

"We hope that Japan can work with us in the same direction to make cross-border travel between our two countries easier," Wang added.

China granted Japanese citizens 15-day visa-free entry to China starting in 2003 until the COVID-19 outbreak began in early 2020.

In July 2023, after the 15-day visa-free entry treatment for citizens of Singapore and Brunei was restored by China, Japan, which enjoyed this treatment before the pandemic, was still waiting, according to media reports.

The visa issue was also mentioned in a white paper released by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in China in June 2023. During a press briefing for the white paper release, Tetsuro Homma, head of the Japanese chamber, said that the biggest obstacle to economic exchanges between Japan and China was the visa issue, according to media reports.

The demand for closer bilateral economic and trade interactions has been highlighted, particularly with the recent visit of a Japanese business delegation to China last week, the first of its kind in four years. It also marked the 46th time that a Japanese business delegation had visited China since 1975.

China and Japan are Asian neighbors and the second- and third-largest economies in the world. China is also Japan's largest trading partner and one of the top investment destinations for Japanese companies.

In 2023, China's trade with Japan reached $317.9 billion, dropping 10.7 percent year-on-year, data released by the General Administration of Customs showed.


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