Japanese Government seems pretty serious in boosting their tourism appeal to citizens of South East Asia countries this year. After all, Japan is experiencing significant growth of tourist visits from these countries lately. To even bolster this trend, the Japanese Government had decided to liberate citizens of several countries in South East Asia from visa requirements when visiting their country, Indonesia included.
To actually get this privilege, you have to obtain the new type of passport first that has security chip embedded in it. This new passport, dubbed e-passport, doesn’t look different from the old ones, except its cover is made of hard cover with a symbol of a chip on it. It also costs twice more expensive from the old ones, but I guess it’s still cheaper than applying for a tourst visa to Japan again and again, right?
After acquiring this e-passport, you have to go register it to one of Japanese embassies in Indonesia. The Japanese Government actually has several embassies in Indonesia with each own area jurisdiction. In the past, I had to apply for visa all the way to their embassy in Jakarta even though I live in Surabaya. All due to my ID card that got issued in Semarang, which is outside of Japan Consulate General in Surabaya jurisdiction. But now since I have renewed my ID to become Surabaya citizen, I could just go to their embassy in Surabaya and register.
The registration process started in December 2014. No costs or fees are required to register your e-passport. All you have to do is just print the application form in their website and fill the necessary information, then go to the embassy before noon and hand it over along with your e-passport. The process would take one day, meaning you can get your e-passport back in the following day!
I didn’t waste time to register my newly acquired e-passport to the embassy after knowing this. I drove to the embassy in December and registered my passport. I went back again in the following day to pick my passport and it now has a nice sticker attached in it that granted fourteen days of visit to Japan without having to apply for visa!
Can’t wait to use it soon! (I hope.. ^_^”)