Japan’s government has set a target of 40 million foreign visitors to the country in 2020 and 60 million in 2030, its embassy in Oman told Arab News.
It added that the number of Japanese travelers to Oman has been increasing year by year.
The two countries recently agreed on mutual visa exemption for holders of diplomatic, official, special and service passports. Ordinary passports are not included.
“This mutual waiver is an important step in promoting relations between two governments through facilitating official exchanges and diplomatic activities,” the embassy said.
“We hope that it will lead eventually to mutual visa exemption for holders of ordinary passports of both Japan and Oman in the future.”
Japan has a variety of tourist attractions, and Omani travelers tend to visit the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, the embassy said.
It added that the enthronement ceremony for Japan’s new emperor is due to take place on Oct. 22.
The two countries “have long historic ties, especially between Japan’s imperial family and Oman’s royal family,” the embassy said.
“More and more Omanis seem to be interested in sites related to Japan’s imperial family.”
Japan has 23 sites registered on the World Heritage List (19 cultural and four natural). Mount Fuji, the country’s highest mountain at 3,776 meters, was designated a World Heritage site in 2013 and is a famous destination for Japanese and foreigners.
“Not only Omani travelers, but also more and more foreigners visit ‘instagrammable’ spots that used to be unknown to foreigners but have become known to them due to social media,” the embassy said.
Kyoto’s Fushimi Inari shrine and Tokyo’s Disneyland and DisneySea are among Japan’s popular tourist spots.
The embassy said Oman’s mountains, beaches and impressive sand dunes attract many Japanese.
“Another reason is that Oman is known as a safe and stable country to enable them to travel without worries,” it added.
The embassy shared the experience of a Japanese lady who forgot her wallet in a cafe in Muscat and returned in panic to enquire about it.
“To her surprise, her wallet had been found by a kind Omani, handed over to a staff member of the cafe, sent to a nearby police station … and returned to her without anything being taken from her wallet,” it said.
“Japan tries to promote outbound and inbound travel, because it is very important from the perspective of our diplomatic policy to deepen mutual understanding through the exchanges with other countries, including Oman.”