Global Entry Pilot Program Announced for Japanese Travelers

September 7, 2017, 3:40 PM HST · Updated September 7, 3:41 PM
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A Global Entry pilot program was launched today with Japan, allowing up to 1,500 Japanese citizens expedited screenings, including TSA PreCheck privileges, who are visiting the US.

The pilot program allows Japanese citizens, as determined by the Government of Japan and US Customs and Border Protection, who have received a promotional code to apply for Global Entry. The Global Entry Program allows expedited screening for trusted travelers visiting the United States.

According to the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, nearly 1.5 million Japanese citizens visited Hawai‘i in 2016 — spending over $1 billion in the state’s economy and supporting over 26,000 jobs.

“Japan’s inclusion in the Global Entry Program further strengthens our longstanding alliance and US ties to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region,” said Senator Mazie Hirono. “Implementing this new pilot program will expedite and simplify the process for Japanese visitor arrivals in Hawai‘i and better serve Hawai‘i’s largest international visitor market.”

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The US Commerce Department estimates nearly 3.6 million Japanese citizens visited the United States in 2016 and spent $16 billion, making Japan the fourth largest market for US travel and tourism exports.

Sen. Hirono was an early advocate of Japan’s inclusion, leading a bipartisan letter in 2014 to encourage the US Department of Homeland Security to add the country to the Global Entry Program. She also led similar efforts in support of India and Singapore’s inclusion in the Global Entry Program. Singapore and India’s inclusion was finalized in June 2016 and June 2017, respectively.

“As the Hawaiian Island’s largest international source market of visitors, this decision is welcome news for our tourism industry and will further strengthen the strong cultural bond Hawai‘i already enjoys with Japan,” said George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority. “The addition of Japan to this program will make it more enjoyable and convenient for Japanese residents to visit the Aloha State on leisure and business.”

The US operates full Global Entry partnerships with the following countries: South Korea, the Netherlands, Panama, Germany, Singapore, the United Kingdom, Colombia, Switzerland, Argentina, and India. Canadian citizens are eligible for the Global Entry benefit via membership in the Nexus program.


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