The government plans to exempt short-term tourists from Thailand and Malaysia from having to obtain a visa and incorporate the measure into an envisaged action program to help spur the nation's tourism industry, sources familiar with the matter said Monday.
The exemption is in line with the government's goal of more than tripling the overall annual number of Japan-bound travelers to over 30 million by 2030, the sources said. The action program will be adopted on Tuesday by ministers in charge.
Japan-bound travelers from the two countries are currently issued multiple-entry visas enabling holders to enter Japan as often as they want during the validity period.
The government is considering the start of multiple-entry visas for travelers from other Southeast Asian countries as well, they said.
In 2012, a total of 8.37 million foreigners traveled to Japan, with Thailand and Malaysia accounting for 390,000 of them.