Japan to Start Electronic Travel Authorization for Visa-Exempt Visitors

Planning a trip to Japan? The Land of the Rising Sun is about to get even easier to visit! The Japanese government has announced a new online travel authorization system for visa-exempt travellers.
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In a move aimed at bolstering security measures and enhancing visitor management, the Japanese government has announced a forthcoming requirement for Electronic Travel Authorization for visa-exempt foreign visitors.

This initiative not only aims to streamline entry procedures but also promises to provide a heightened sense of security for all travellers.

What is an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA)?

An Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) is an online system that allows countries to pre-screen travellers before they arrive. It helps enhance security measures by collecting essential information about visitors in advance.

How ETA Works

The ETA process requires travellers to complete an online application where they provide personal details, travel itinerary, and the purpose of their visit. Authorities use this information to determine if the traveller meets entry requirements before granting authorization.

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Also Read: Japan Travel Update: 3 New Rules Every Tourist Should Be Aware Of

Implementation Details Yet to Be Finalized

While specifics regarding the timeline for implementation remain undisclosed, authorities have hinted that the new electronic travel authorization (ETA) requirement will be part of a broader set of measures set to take effect in the coming years.

This move aligns Japan with similar protocols established by countries like the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

What Travellers Need to Know

Once the ETA system is operational, travellers from the 71 countries and territories currently enjoying visa-free entry to Japan will need to complete an online authorization process before their departure. This process will involve submitting personal details and stating the purpose of their visit, providing authorities with essential information before arrival.

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Also Read: Your Japan Visa Opens Doors to 6 More Countries

Visa-Free Entry Countries and Territories

Passport holders from the following 71 countries and territories can currently travel to Japan without needing to apply for a visa beforehand:

  1. Andorra
  2. Argentina
  3. Australia
  4. Austria
  5. Bahamas
  6. Barbados
  7. Belgium
  8. Brunei
  9. Bulgaria
  10. Canada
  11. Chile
  12. Costa Rica
  13. Croatia
  14. Cyprus
  15. Czech Republic
  16. Denmark
  17. Dominican Republic
  18. El Salvador
  19. Estonia
  20. Finland
  21. France
  22. Germany
  23. Greece
  24. Guatemala
  25. Honduras
  26. Hong Kong
  27. Hungary
  28. Iceland
  29. Indonesia
  30. Ireland
  31. Israel
  32. Italy
  33. Latvia
  34. Lesotho
  35. Liechtenstein
  36. Lithuania
  37. Luxembourg
  38. Macau
  39. Malaysia
  40. Malta
  41. Mauritius
  42. Mexico
  43. Monaco
  44. Netherlands
  45. New Zealand
  46. Nicaragua
  47. Norway
  48. Panama
  49. Paraguay
  50. Peru
  51. Poland
  52. Portugal
  53. Romania
  54. San Marino
  55. Singapore
  56. Slovakia
  57. Slovenia
  58. South Korea
  59. Spain
  60. Eswatini (Swaziland)
  61. Sweden
  62. Switzerland
  63. Taiwan
  64. Thailand
  65. Trinidad and Tobago
  66. United Arab Emirates
  67. United Kingdom
  68. United States
  69. Uruguay
  70. Vatican City
  71. Venezuela

Enhancing Security and Preventing Overstays

The primary objective of this new requirement is to curb illegal stays and strengthen security protocols across Japan’s borders.

Modelled after successful systems like the US Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), the ETA aims to preemptively address security concerns while facilitating smoother entry for legitimate travellers.

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Also Read: New Visa Options: Japan Eases Immigration for Foreign Workers

Record of Visitor Arrivals

Recent statistics underscore Japan’s popularity as a tourist destination, with over three million visitors recorded monthly for three consecutive months as of May. This marks a significant recovery compared to pre-pandemic levels, highlighting Japan’s enduring appeal on the global tourism stage.

Final Words

By implementing this online system, Japan is poised to create a smoother and more secure entry process for foreign travellers, paving the way for a more vibrant and welcoming tourism industry.


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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

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