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Global Entry Pilot Program Announced for Japanese Travelers

Posted September 7, 2017, 10:00 AM HST
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Wikipedia photo.

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawai‘i) has announced the launch of a Global Entry pilot program with Japan by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The program will allow up to 1,500 Japanese citizens to apply for Global Entry, as determined by the Government of Japan and CBP. The Global Entry Program allows expedited screening for trusted travelers visiting the United States, including TSA PreCheck privileges.

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. The U.S. 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 U.S. travel and tourism exports.

“Japan’s inclusion in the Global Entry Program further strengthens our longstanding alliance and U.S. ties to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region,” said Sen. 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.”

“We appreciate Senator Hirono’s effort to get Japan added to the Global Entry Program,” said George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawai‘i Tourism Authority. “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. 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.”

“This latest development in the nation’s travel program comes as great news,” said Mufi Hannemann, president and CEO of the Hawai‘i Lodging and Tourism Association. “Japan is Hawai‘i’s oldest and largest Asian tourism partner, and any effort to streamline travel between us can only benefit the visitor industry, our local and national economies, and the cause of stronger relations among friends and allies in the Asia-Pacific region. We commend Senator Mazie Hirono and her colleagues for working so tirelessly to make this idea a reality and expect that the initial success will lead to expanded and permanent ease-of-entry for our millions of Japanese visitors.”

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“Given our economic and diplomatic ties to Japan and, particularly here in Hawai‘i, our cultural ties, we are pleased to see this pilot program include Japan in the Global Entry Program that is supported by Senators Hirono, Schatz and other U.S. Senators,” said Chamber of Commerce Hawai‘i President & CEO Sherry Menor-McNamara. “Facilitating travel to Hawai‘i and the U.S. for visitors from Japan, the largest inbound U.S. market from Asia, will serve to accommodate future growth in jobs and economic activity here in Hawai‘i and the U.S.”

“The ACCJ is pleased to work in collaboration with CBP and serve as a host site for Global Entry mobile enrollment,” said American Chamber of Commerce in Japan President Christopher J. LaFleur. “Members of the ACCJ greatly value the benefits of the Global Entry Program, which makes doing business easier, further supporting a strong U.S.-Japan economic partnership.”

The U.S. currently operates full Global Entry partnerships with 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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