Japan Introduces Pre-Departure Immigation Checks for Flights from Taipei to 10 Airports Including Hakodate

Jun Oizumi, Mayor of Hakodate

Japan will dispatch immigration officers to airports in departure countries to implement ‘preclearance’ procedures for flights from Taipei/Taoyuan to 10 airports in Japan.

A press conference held in Tokyo was attended by Jun Oizumi, Mayor of Hakodate, Hiroshi Kimizuka, head of the Immigration Bureau of the Ministry of Justice, and Kyoharu Kuramochi, Director of the Aviation Network Division of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, who provided an overview.

For the duration of February, booths will be set up near the boarding gates at Taoyuan International Airport, and travelers on eligible flights will be invited to voluntarily utilize the service. By conducting identity verification, black list cross-checking, photograph and fingerprint collection, and confirmation of purpose of entry in advance, passengers will only need to undergo identity verification and get their passports stamped upon arrival at the destination airport for smooth entry. The targeted airports include Hakodate, Asahikawa, Akita, Sendai, Hanamaki, Yamagata, Fukushima, Niigata, Komatsu, and Takamatsu. The service primarily targets regional airports in Hokkaido and the Tohoku region with direct flights to and from Taipei/Taoyuan. Based on the results, extending the period and expanding the targeted airports will be considered.

Especially at regional airports, immigration inspection can be time-consuming, sometimes taking between 30 minutes to an hour upon arrival. It is expected that smoother entry at the arrival airports will not only improve the image, but also increase tourism spending due to longer stays.

The majority of international flights to and from Hakodate are serviced by Tigerair Taiwan with five round trips per week and Starlux Airlines’ Taipei/Taoyuan line, which commenced in February and will increase to one round trip per day in March. Currently, about 95% of the entrants are from Taiwan, making Hakodate one of the airports that will benefit the most.

Mayor Oizumi stated, “We want more people from around the world to see Hakodate’s charm, Hokkaido’s charm,” aiming not only to encourage tourism to the often-visited Golden Route in western Japan but also to invigorate travel throughout eastern Japan including Hokkaido and Tohoku region, hoping to “boost the economy of Hokkaido.”

On February 3rd, a symposium titled ‘Enlargement of International Flights at Regional Airports’ will be held at the Hanabishi Hotel in Hakodate City. Focusing on expanding the benefits of international tourists to the regions through the addition of international flights to local airports, the symposium will feature Mayor Oizumi among six speakers giving presentations and participating in a panel discussion.

This article was generated using automatic translation by GPT-4 API.
The translation may not be accurate.