In the late morning of 11 June 2013, the Japanese authority officially declared to waive visa for Thai and Malaysian tourists. Apart from the two countries, Filipinos and Vietnameses were also entitled to multiple-entry visas. The exact enforcement date and the duration of stay will be announced later. Please stay tuned!
It is boasted that the relaxation of visa requirement will help boost the economic growth of Japan, especially in tourism sector, removing the barrier to draw more expats to enjoy the intriguing charm of Japan. I believe the mechanism will help Japan play more roles in ASEAN countries just as what China and USA have been struggling.
And yet, the visa-free access comes with pros and cons. Of course, we no longer have to waste time preparing documents and filling the form, but tourists are at risk of rejecting to enter the country because the right to enter the country is under consideration of immigration officers of Japan. It is just like the case in Korea where many tourists were dumped even though they got the destination. I do hope that Japanese will be more reasonable enough when considering visa-free travelers.