Tokyo Ueno Park (Photo from Impressive Magazine)

PH media quote Amb. Lopez : “We expect visa requirement to be lifted anytime.”


Not anytime soon.

The Japanese Embassy in the Philippines has reiterated that they are not yet lifting the visa requirement for Filipinos who would want to enter the land of the rising sun.

This despite reports fromThe Philippine Star, its Filipino tabloid sibling Pilipino Star Ngayon, and ABS-CBN News that the Visa restrictions to Filipinos coming to Japan will be waived possibly starting in June.

 

The Star based their report from an article in Kyodo News that the ruling government led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is considering lifting the visa requirements for tourists in the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam.

The move, Kyodo says, would enable Japan to be a Tourist-friendly nation in line with the country’s staging of the 2020 Summer Olympics.

 

ABS-CBN  and Pilipino Star Ngayon, on the other hand, quoted Philippine Ambassador to Japan, Manuel “Manolo” M. Lopez, saying that they have been advised by the Japanese Government about the possible lifting of the visa requirement.

Lopez says that he talked to a Japanese government official and says that they are eyeing to lift the requirement by June this year.

“It seems na ili-lift nila itong June. May nakausap akong isang Japanese official this (Tuesday) afternoon who told me it may happen anytime very soon,”  Lopez said. The network also aired a piece on their national newscast TV Patrol regarding the said report.

Lopez is also the Chairman of Lopez Holdings Corporation and a director of ABS-CBN Corporation.

 

But an official from the Japanese Embassy in the Philippines quoted The Philippine Daily Inquirer that nothing is final yet regarding the visa-free entry, saying that they are unable to confirm the Kyodo News report

They have also released a statement on their website, reiterating that they have not lifted their visa requirements for the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnamese nationals, though they have opened up multiple-entry visas to these nationals.

“Recently, false news have been circulating regarding the Japanese Visa for nationals of the Philippines, Indonesia and Viet Nam.  The news mentioned that Japan has lifted its Visa for the Philippines…   The Embassy/ Consular office of Japan in the Philippines would like to clarify to the public that Japan has not lifted the visa requirements for nationals of the Philippines…. contrary to the recent reports ” said the embassy.