TOKYO — To expand medical tourism, the government of Japan plans to make it easier for Chinese and other Asians to obtain short-term medical service visas by providing information on websites of Japanese embassies and consulates.
The goal is to make this country's advanced medical services accessible to wealthy Chinese and other Asians.
On the web sites, the government plans to add the category "stay for receiving medical services" and provide information on the required documents.
Though such visas have been available for some time, their existence is not widely known.
The government hopes to increase the number of medical tourists without changing the current visa system for the time being.
A Cabinet meeting endorsed medical tourism in June as part of the government's new strategies to boost the economy.
As part of the efforts, the government aims to provide wealthy Asians with such medical services as routine checkups and treatment, as well as encourage them to enjoy ordinary tourism.
The governments of such Asian countries as Singapore and Thailand have been accepting hundreds of thousands of medical tourists a year.
For short-term visas for medical treatment in Japan, applicants are required to provide certification of their ability to pay for the travel, besides the documentation required for ordinary visas such as flight information.
Currently, the Web sites of Japanese embassies and consulates provide information on documents required to obtain visas to visit relatives and acquaintances as well as for sightseeing and short business trips.
However, those seeking information about medical service visas need to visit embassies and consulates.
The government is also expected to issue multiple-entry visas for people who need follow-up medical treatment.