The Japanese Foreign Ministry said on Friday that it would ease visa regulations for Russians who hold regular foreign passports. The change concerns, above all, multiple-entry durable visas, which will allow Russians to visit Japan several times, a document, which the TASS bureau in Tokyo has at its disposal, said.

 

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Japan has also extended the validity of multiple-entry visas issued to Russian entrepreneurs, cultural figures and scientists from 3 to 5 years. It is also planning to start issuing multiple-entry visas – which, in fact, has never been done before – for a period of three years to people who want to stay in Japan for no longer than 30 days at a time. These visas will also be given to tourists. Individual travelers who pay for their trips from their own pockets will no longer have to submit a guarantee letter from their Japanese hosts when applying for an entry visa.

 

“The easing of visa requirements will help bolster ties with Russia as well as expand personal contacts; create more convenient conditions for tourists and businessmen and will certainly increase the number of return visits,” the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.

 

In March 2014, Japan along with a number of Western countries signed on to impose a package of anti-Russian sanctions against Moscow over the Ukraine crisis. As part of its restrictive measures, Tokyo suspended consultations with Moscow on easing the visa regulations and indefinitely put off the start of talks on three major treaties: investment cooperation, joint ventures in space exploration and prevention of dangerous military activities.

 

The Asahi newspaper wrote that milder visa regulations, in fact, would soften Japan’s sanctions against Russia. A decision to streamline the visa regime with Russia had been made ahead of President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Japan, which ends on Friday.