MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - Filipinos still need to get a visa to visit Japan, contrary to a report circulating on the internet.
On Thursday, the Japanese embassy issued a statement denying it had removed visa requirements for Filipinos.
"The Embassy of Japan in the Philippines would like to clarify to the public that Japan has not lifted the visa exemption for the Philippines contrary to the recent reports. However, Japan has opened multiple-entry Visas to Filipinos," it said.
Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement on June 25 saying it is granting multiple entry visas
for Filipino citizens, valid for three years.
"In celebration of the 40th Year of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation, the Government of Japan has decided to begin issuance from July 1, of multiple entry visas for short-term stay to nationals of the Republic of the Philippines (ordinary passport holders) who reside in their home country," the MOFA said on its website.
Granting multiple entry visas is expected to increase the number of Filipino tourists who visit Japan.
The MOFA said Filipinos who have fulfilled certain conditions and who have an ordinary Machine-Readable passport (MRP), which meet International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards or an ordinary IC passport, may get a multiple entry visa.
With the visa, Filipinos may stay for 15 days in Japan. The multiple entry visa will be valid for up to three years.
Filipino netizens were abuzz about a report that erroneously indicated Japan granted visa exemptions to the Philippines and four other ASEAN countries.
However, Japan only granted visa exemptions to nationals of Thailand and Malaysia.
Filipinos who are interested in getting a visa to Japan should apply at the Japanese embassy through accredited agencies. The Japanese embassy in the Philippines does not accept direct visa applications.