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Japan plans to allow Chinese tourists to visit individually: report  Feb 10, 2009

TOKYO - The government plans to allow Chinese tourists to visit Japan individually if they meet certain standards of affluence, Kyodo News reported Tuesday.

Chinese tourists are currently allowed to enter Japan only in groups escorted by tour conductors.

The Japan Tourism Agency and other government offices concerned presented a plan to a special committee on promotion of tourism in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party on Tuesday to change visa issuing requirements for Chinese tourists in order to accept their visits on an individual basis, Kyodo quoted unspecified sources assaying.

The LDP will set up a project team next week to work out recommendations in favor of the plan for submission to the government.

Use of frequent flyer services offered by airlines and holding of credit cards issued by major banks in China are among the criteria the government may use to check the living standards of Chinese tourists, the sources said.

Japanese government currently issues tourist visas to Chinese people who visit Japan in conductor-escorted groups of five to 40 people or to those of two to three people from families with an annual income of 250,000 yuan or 3.3 million yen.

Japan is aiming to boost the number of tourists from abroad to 10 million by 2010 through a variety of tourism promotion campaigns such as "Yokoso Japan".

Japan plans to allow Chinese tourists to visit individually: report
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