Japan and Russia will facilitate tourism between the two countries, with a Japanese tourism office to open in Moscow this fiscal year and both sides planning to relax visa requirements for the other’s citizens.
These new moves are part of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s proposed economic cooperation with Russia, aimed at strengthening bonds between the two world powers.
From January to October, around 45,000 Russian tourists visited Japan, less than 1% of the count from China. Still, according to Akihiko Tamura, commissioner of the Japan Tourism Agency, Russia’s sizable middle- and upper-class population makes it a “promising market” of potential visitors.
Meanwhile, the JTA and some Japanese travel companies have also been surveying the Russian Far East, on the lookout for potential expansions to their lineup of tourism offerings. Currently, most Russian tours for Japanese visitors center on Moscow and Saint Petersburg.