Japan to introduce online travel authorization system for foreigners

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Official Reporter
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Japan to launch new system
Rep. Image | Courtesy: djedj @ Pixabay

The Japanese government has announced a plan to introduce an online system for travel authorization for visa-waiver visitors to the country.

The new system will have foreign visitors, who are exempted from obtaining short-stay visas, declare their travel information electronically before their trip, including the purpose of their stay.

According to the statement, the plan was included in the government’s revised comprehensive package of measures for accepting foreign personnel, adopted at the day’s meeting of related Cabinet ministers at the Prime Minister’s Office.

Further, the upcoming online travel authorization system is poised to be a significant advancement for Japan’s tourism sector.

The system’s introduction aims to prevent illegal stays. The Immigration Services Agency will decide on details of the scheme by referring to the US Electronic System for Travel Authorization, or ESTA, which the United States operates partly in an effort to prevent terrorism.

The Japanese government first compiled the comprehensive package in 2018 and has been revising it annually. The latest revision involved the addition of 218 measures, including supporting foreigners’ Japanese language ability development. This is with an eye on the planned launch of a new on-the-job skill development program in the country that will replace the current foreign technical intern scheme.

As per the statement, “This move is a part of Japan’s broader strategy to modernize its immigration processes while maintaining its appeal as a top destination for international travelers. With Japan travel on the rise, this system will not only facilitate smoother entry for tourists but also ensure that Japan remains a safe and welcoming country.”

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