Filipinos can now secure business, investor visas to Japan
MANILA, Philippines – Filipinos can now secure business and investor visas to Japan following amendments to the trade deal between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and Japan.
Officially called the First Protocol to Amend the Asean-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP) Agreement, the document signed on March 2 outlines additional ways service suppliers can move within the region, said the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
Among other implications, DTI said in a statement that Filipino professionals such as lawyers, economists, engineers, accountants and even those in the humanities can stay up to five years in Japan.
Entry and temporary stay will also be granted to accompanying spouses and children as dependents of any Filipino business person or professional given permission to temporarily stay in Japan under the amended agreement, DTI said.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez signed the document on behalf of Asean member-states together with Minister Hiroshige Seko of Japan.
The protocol has provisions on trade in services, movement of natural persons, and investment that will be incorporated into the AJCEP agreement.
AJCEP is a free trade deal between the 10 member-states of Asean and Japan that came into force on December 1, 2008.
The AJCEP Agreement contained commitments that eliminated and gradually reduced tariffs on products between Asean countries and Japan, to encourage the growth of two-way exports and production-sharing arrangements.
On investments, DTI said the provisions were anchored towards promotion, facilitation and protection of investments that will strengthen the economic relationship among the parties.
These will increase the attractiveness of the region and individual Asean countries as an investment destination for Japanese businesses, thereby creating more jobs in the region, DTI added.
Japan is Asean’s fourth largest trading partner with total merchandise trade recorded at $218 billion in 2017. It is also Asean’s second largest source of external foreign direct investments, which amounted to $13.2 billion during the same period.