Japanese is finally recognized the value of medical tourism.
Japanese government announced to start issuing "Visa for Medical Stay" in Jan 2011 for the foreign tourists who want (& need) to receive medical treatment or medical check-ups in Japan more than 90 days.
In addition to the richness of tradition and culture, Japan is known for its medical treatment facilities.
Japan has many MRI scanned installed on many hospitals throughout Japan. And it has many hot spring (onsen) which has been used to treat various diseases for over thousands of years.
Since the launch of Japan Tourism Agency in 2008, the increasing the number of foreign visitors for medical purpose is one of theit important goal to reach 10 million tourists per year.
However, due to the tight 90-days restriction of tourist visa, Japanese government couldn't meet the expectation of the people who wants to stay longer than 90 days to receive the treatment or health check-ups.
Now, starting in Jan, 2011, Japanese Embassies and Consulates-General overseas start issuing the "Visa for Medical Stay".
Withi this visa, Japanese government, tourism agencies and medical institution are hoping to attract the upper-class Asian and Russians to come to visit Japan to recieve their treatment.
To apply, you need to prove that you have enough finance. You must find a sponsor, such as travel agency, or medical institution.
The visa will be granted for the foreigners who may need to stay longer than 90 days to receive the treatment or medical check-ups.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, the visa process may take at least five (5) business days to process.
The visa will allow you to stay maximum 6 month per stay. And you can come back as much as you need for the next 3 years.
Please consult your local Japanese Embassies and Consulates-General for more information.
According to various Japanese news sources, such as Nikkei and TV Tokyo, many medical insutitutions, hotels and ryokans will initiate the travel plan with health check-ups.
You go to the hospital to check-up your health. While you are waiting for the result, you can enjoy the sightseeing and hot spring (Onsen). And then, you get the result, receive the treatment or go back home happy & healthy.
The visa is just about to start. You'll hear more from the local travel agencies sooner or later,