Japan is looking to install pre-clearance checks in foreign ports of origin to help cut down the lengthy immigration queues at its airports.

According to the Nikkei Asian Review, waiting times at Japanese airports can be as long as 84 minutes. The government is aiming to reduce this to 20 minutes at most.

The government has reportedly been in talks with authorities of South Korean and Taiwan to begin offering a pre-clearance service at major airports by 2017, as data by the Japan Tourism Agency show that South Korea and Taiwan travellers account for a third of the visitors in Japan last year.

Should this be realised, the programme will allow travellers departing from South Korea and Taiwan-based airports to complete most of the inspection process in their home airport, which includes a short screening interview, providing fingerprints and photos.

Upon arriving in Japan, they would then enjoy an expedited immigration process.

For more information, visit jnto.go.jp

Clement Huang