Jakarta. The Japanese government on Tuesday officially announced a long-awaited policy that will allow Indonesian travelers making short trips to Japan to enter without visas.
“Praise to God, the Japanese government has taken concrete action on [the policy] and issued it even without reciprocity from the Indonesian government, even though, ideally, we should return them the favor,” Indonesian Ambassador to Japan Yusron Ihza Mahendra said in a press release on Tuesday.
The visa-free policy will apply to Indonesians traveling to Japan for no longer than 15 days.
The policy will apply to those who hold passports equipped with chips that can be scanned by immigration officials in the country. Indonesians with regular passports will still be required to apply for a visa, although the Japanese government has pledged to make the application process easier and faster, especially for those traveling in groups.
Yusron said the no-visa policy will take effect sometime in the end of 2014 and until then, a regular visa application process will still apply.
The two countries are also currently discussing a separate no-visa policy for diplomatic passport holders.
Yusron added that the new policy is expected to strengthen ties between Indonesia and Japan.
“The free visa will make it easier for Indonesians to visit Japan and will strengthen the relationship between the two countries,” he said, as quoted by Indonesian new portal Detik.com.