Sun. Nov 27th, 2022

Brussel, 17 May 2022

Today, the EU Commission provides an analysis of the measures taken by the Republic of Korea and Japan which led to visa implications and gives an overview of the engagements and efforts undertaken to restore visa-waiver reciprocity. Ensuring that countries on the EU visa-free list waive visa requirements for citizens of all EU Member States is a fundamental principle of EU visa policy.

Following the diplomatic engagement, the Commission welcomes the re-establishment of visa-free travel between the EU and the Republic of Korea and it will continue monitoring the situation in order to ensure that the restoration of visa-waiver reciprocity is maintained. Diplomatic efforts have not yet led to a full change of policy in Japan, where restrictions on travel to Japan from the EU are still in place.

Although the entry ban for non-tourist purposes for travellers coming from 24 EU Member States has been lifted, for tourist purposes it is still not permitted. The Commission considers that progress can be better achieved through continued engagement and diplomatic contacts and that at this stage it would not be appropriate to adopt suspension measures for any categories of nationals of Japan. In particular, it will step up its diplomatic engagement with Japanese authorities, at technical and political level, in order to restore full visa-waiver reciprocity ahead of travel normalisation as well as the lifting of the entry ban for non-tourist purposes for travellers coming from all EU Member States.

Furthermore, during the 28 EU-Japan Summit on 12 May, both sides have also reiterated their will to work to restore visa-waiver reciprocity. The Commission will continue to actively monitor the situation and will take appropriate action depending on the results of the consultations now taking place and on other developments.

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