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Emiratis to get visa-free entry in Japan

Easing of travel procedures come into effect in July

Abu Dhabi: UAE nationals can travel to Japan without visas, a senior ministry official said yesterday.

Ahmad Saeed Elham Al Daheri, Assistant Under-Secretary for Consular Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said the UAE and Japan signed the two Memorandums of Understanding on easing procedures for Emiratis to travel to Japan without pre-entry visas.

The MoUs were signed during the visit of Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, to Tokyo in April.

Visa-free entry is allowed for UAE citizens with diplomatic and special passports on official mission in Japan for an unlimited period. If they wish to travel to Japan for tourism or business, they can only stay for a maximum of 90 days from their date of entry, Al Daheri said.

Emiratis with regular passports who plan to visit Japan for tourism, business or official work are required to present their passports to the Japanese Embassy in Abu Dhabi, or the General Consulate of Japan in Dubai, or any diplomatic or representative office of Japan in any other country, to register their date of entry through an electronic sticker placed on the passport. It is valid of three years or for the remaining period of their passport's validity. This free sticker allows the UAE citizens to remain in Japan for a maximum of 30 days. This comes into effect from July.

Al Daheri said this move "is part of strong and exceptional 45-year bilateral relations between the UAE and Japan."

It also highlights the desire of the governments of both the countries to strengthen opportunities for their citizens in tourism, commerce, investment and other sectors. This will have a positive effect on the relations, he added.

The UAE official said that the ministry is continuing its efforts to make the UAE's passport among the most powerful five passports in the world to match the country's international stature.