Emiratis can travel visa-free to Japan from November 1

Agreement is part of wider strategy aimed at bolstering ties between the nations

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Emiratis will enjoy visa-free travel to Japan from November 1 as part of a wider strategy to further bolster ties between the two countries.

UAE citizens will be allowed to stay in Japan for up to 30 days in line with a strategic agreement signed in Tokyo last month by Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and the UAE's special envoy to Japan, and Yoshimasa Hayashi, Japan's Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Travellers must present a negative PCR test taken within 72 of departure, or vaccine certificate, with three vaccinations approved by Japan.

Dr Al Jaber said the deal would encourage more tourism, cultural and academic exchanges between the countries and promote new opportunities for business, trade and investment.

The partnership agreement was launched during a meeting between a UAE delegation, led by Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed, member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

The UAE and Japan are continuing to build on a long-standing alliance dating back 50 years.

The UAE has been one of Japan's main suppliers of oil for the past half century, today providing 20 per cent of its oil needs.

The Emirates are also Japan's 10th-largest trading partner globally, according to 2021 statistics. The value of Japanese investments in the Emirates exceeds $14 billion.

Japan was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with the UAE in 1971.

A UAE delegation led by Sheikh Khaled attended the state funeral of assassinated former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo last month.

Sheikh Khaled was joined by political leaders and heads of state from around the world, including US Vice President Kamala Harris, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad, at the service.

He offered condolences on behalf of President Sheikh Mohamed and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.

The visa-free agreement comes into force as Japan welcomes back tourists after more than two years of tight Covid-19 restrictions.

Stringent measures, such as caps on daily arrival numbers and the need to book stays through a travel agency were lifted on October 11.

The influx of travellers is expected to provide a boost to a Japanese economy hit hard by the closure of its borders.

Updated: October 14, 2022, 10:10 AM
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