Japan yesterday granted special visa privileges to holders of the Special Administrative Region passport. It will give them multi-entry visas valid for up to one year - the same treatment as British National (Overseas) passports. Visitors from most other nations are given approval for only one visit during a three-month period. A Hong Kong government spokesman welcomed the move as a sign of Japan's commitment to the territory's success. 'In this context, the treatment of BN(O) and SAR passport-holders is generous in Japanese terms - reflecting the distinctive standing of the SAR passport.' Japanese consulate spokesman Tsuguyoshi Hada said the decision was made despite the usual practice of monitoring the use of a new passport to ensure it was not being misused. The early decision highlighted officials' confidence in the SAR travel document, he said.