Cruise ship visitors’ immigration procedures streamlined
The national government has simplified immigration procedures for visitors on cruise ships from foreign countries to Japan. The new procedures went into effect on Feb. 1st.
The Minister of Justice will decide the ships that are eligible for the new system, and passengers on these ships are able to land in Japan by simple immigration procedures. Passengers on ships that are on the eligible list won’t be asked for fingerprints nor have their pictures taken upon entering the country.
Currently, most passengers on cruise ships from foreign countries visiting Japan need to come back to the ship two hours before the ship leaves the port. Thus, tourists on ships on the list visiting Okinawa can stay a little longer ashore. It’s expected that as a result, they would spend more time sightseeing and increase shopping while ashore.