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Japan relaxes rules for tourists

TRAVEL to Japan is no longer restricted to rich citizens from today – the minimum annual salary for those applying for individual tours has been cut by 150,000 yuan (US$22,118) to 100,000 yuan.

The move should stimulate travel to Japan, Shanghai travel agents said today.

The new policy has encouraged many young people to book trips. "Now I can plan my trip to Kyoto and Nara," said Ye Hong, a college English teacher. "Before I wasn't able to meet their requirement."

She said she didn't like to travel with tour groups, so her wish to go to Japan has remained a dream for several years.

Travel agencies yesterday also reported increased bookings on Japan-bound individual tours. Jinjiang International Travel Service Co Ltd said he had about five individual bookings every day.

"Even if tourists don't have any overseas traveling record, they can also receive the visa," said Zhou Qing, an official with the Japanese department of the company. "Only those who have a bad departure or arrival record may be declined."


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