Japan's visa issuance in 2023 tripled on the year

The number of visas Japan issued to foreigners visiting the country in 2023 tripled on the year, after the government ended pandemic-related border restrictions.

The Foreign Ministry says diplomatic missions overseas issued more than 4.16 million visas.

China accounted for nearly 60 percent with 2.43 million cases, followed by the Philippines with 520,000, Vietnam with 330,000 and Indonesia with 190,000.

About 80 percent of the total are short-term stay visas valid for up to 90 days.

The ministry says the end of border restrictions in April last year prompted more foreign tourists to come to Japan.

Visitors from the United States, South Korea and European countries do not need visas for short-term stays.

Japan issued all-time high of nearly 8.3 million visas in 2019. Last year's figure is about half this record.

Ministry officials say Japan is accepting a growing number of overseas tourists this year, and the ministry will continue to ensure that visas are issued smoothly.