Tourists to be surveyed on travel insurance

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Japan Tourism Agency will start a survey to check the share of visitors from abroad with travel insurance, hoping to draw up measures to encourage foreign visitors to get coverage, Jiji Press learned.

Some visitors enter Japan without travel insurance, receive medical treatment during their stays and leave the country without paying for it.

The interview survey is likely to be conducted at airports when visitors leave Japan. The agency plans to set its detail within the year and carry out the survey until the end of March 2018, informed sources said.

In the survey, the agency plans to ask whether visitors bought travel insurance for their stays in Japan, and if so, what type of insurance it was.

Other questions are expected to include whether they suffered injuries or illnesses during their stays, and in such cases, whether they visited medical institutions.

A 2013 trial survey by the agency found that some 30 percent of foreign visitors did not buy travel or other insurance to cover potential medical costs during their stays in Japan.

The government aims to increase the annual number of visitors to Japan from 24.04 million in 2016 to 40 million in 2020. The number of foreigners visiting medical institutions is also expected to grow.

The agency will use the results of the planned survey to consider effective ways to inform visitors of Japan’s medical care service system and encourage them to buy travel insurance. It also plans to give medical institutions advice on accepting foreign visitors.

The agency will also accelerate efforts to provide foreign visitors information on travel insurance that can be bought after their arrival in Japan.Speech

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