Indians can now get a “three-year” visa with “multiple” entries to visit Japan, a senior official in the Shinzo Abe administration said here Sunday.
As Abe participated in the Republic Day parade as its chief guest, Japan foreign ministry’s Press secretary Kuni Sato said, “There will be multiple-entry visas, which will last up to three years, for Indian ordinary passport holders.”
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Presently, Indian tourists can get only single-entry visas to Japan for short duration. However, Indian visitors to the US, UK get up to 10-year visas. This visa relaxation was made by Tokyo since Japanese tourists get visas-on-arrival to India.
Sato, who accompanied the Japanese PM to India, also said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was briefed about the regional situation, including China’s activities, by Abe.
“India and Japan expect China to act as a responsible partner in the comity of nations, because it is a fact that China has been building up militarily and not necessarily with enough transparency,” she said.
The new National Security Advisors’ dialogue between India and Japan announced by the PMs on Saturday will focus on “China, North Korea, Afghanistan and Iran”, among other issues of regional and global interest, Sato said.
Asked about the progress in negotiations on the civilian nuclear cooperation, she said the differences between the two countries had been “narrowed down”.
“Abe has for the first time recognised India’s sound proliferation record,” she said.
A joint statement said “substantial progress” has been made in the negotiations.
Asked if the Japanese side had asked India to not display Agni-V — a missile with a nuclear warhead — at the Republic Day parade, Sato said, “No, but I was told that the (Indian) defence ministry made this consideration on its own to not display the nuclear weapon.”
The Indian Express had reported Sunday that Agni-V was not displayed since Japanese people are extremely sensitive about nuclear weapons as they are the only victims of an atom bomb. About the conversation between Singh and Abe on the business environment, Sato said, “I won’t say (Abe voiced) concerns, but there is room for improvement in the business environment. There is no specific mention of any hampering practice.”
Tomohiko Taniguchi, councillor in Japan’s Cabinet secretariat and a senior aide to Abe, said, “Abe has covered 30 countries in less than 15 months. But very few countries can have such wide-ranging cooperation, as with India. The joint statement is reflective of the fact.”
A day after India invited Japan to join the Indo-US Malabar exercises, he said, “Abe has welcomed the invite. It will take place, it has been agreed.”