Update: Japan Trusted Traveler Program Not Available For Regular Travelers (Non-U.S. Citizens With Global Entry)

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We have an update concerning the new Trusted Traveler Program in Japan we previously reported on and it’s not exactly good news for many who wish to apply.

We at LoyaltyLobby ran a test with two ordinary European Passports, one of which is also registered with Global Entry and both got a denial from the Japanese Authorities.

When we reported about the newly opened registration back in January (see here) the process looked easy enough and relatively forthcoming. It also didn’t exactly specify on the website that you absolutely have to work with a local Japanese company for example.

In any case as we outlined in the article the registration steps also didn’t give much trouble as far as registration was concerned.

There is a field applying to U.S. Citizens who also participate in Global Entry and based on the comments some of our readers were able to register as ordinary travelers (non-business or diplomatic related matters).

Then 3 weeks ago I wrote about a backlog of the applications based on information of the program administrator (see here).

In the meanwhile both applications I oversaw received the email that the application has been rejected based on ‘Applicant Ineligible’.

The matter was again discussed at Haneda Airport and based on their information the enrollment of foreigners who can’t provide ties to a Japanese listed company is not possible with the exception of U.S. Nationals who participate in Global Entry.

In any case since there is no fee to pay upfront there is no real loss involved especially since the lines in Japan are usually rather short and processed efficiently.

The way the website is set up and the program is handled however is a complete disaster. If you can just apply for an APEC Card if you’re a national of a participating APEC nation or as a resident of Japan apply for the straight automated gate program which is much easier.

Conclusion

Again, the website itself offers very little explanation as of now of how the enrollment actually works once the background checks are completed. One example is the charge for U.S. citizens that isn’t displayed for other nationalities but applies to everyone. 2200 JPY have to be paid in revenue stamps purchased at a convenience store (Lawson, 7-11 inside the airport).

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  • Jon H

    As a U.K. Citizen with ties to a Japanese country I’ll try this and advise.
    Can you let me know the best web link please?

  • Gaijinsan

    Good!!!!!!!!!!! As I’ve mentioned in previous threads on this topic, we don’t need additional people in the Automated Gate queue. It’s quite congested enough as it is with eligible foreign residents. We only get one gate out of the 4-5 at each airport and have to wait for an attendant as it is. Adding countless people applying for TTP (TTC??I forget which) isn’t necessary.

    • Agreed. Even though I rarely ever notice anyone in front of me or behind me when using the Automated Gates. At least the machines appear to have been properly calibrated now because it used to be quite bad to read the passport and fingerprints.

      • Gaijinsan

        Fingerprints have most definitely gotten better. The scanners were terrible for the first year or two. I’ve never had any issue though with the passport scanner, or actually barcode reader in my case. Japanese passports use a scanner for the photo page but foreign residents get a barcode affixed to one of the pages inside.

    • LlamaOfDoom

      Emphasis on “usually”. My personal record for longest line at KIX (mid-June) was getting into line at 9:40pm, out to baggage claim at 12:15am (JAL actually offered reimbursement of taxi fare up to 10k yen to cover any additional expenses getting to the rest of Osaka since the only buses running at that hour were to Umeda) and at NRT (early December), getting into line at 4:00pm, 5:50pm out to baggage claim. After those two happened, I jumped on TTP at the first opportunity.

      But I’m wondering… what congestion at the Automated Gate? Both of those times I noticed that the line at the foreigner-eligible automated gate got 4-5 deep at best.

      • Gaijinsan

        WOW, those times are certainly terrible. Sounds like coming in at the end of a Japanese holiday week?

        Yes, 4-5 deep is what I consider congested. It takes some time because the fingerprint scanners don’t work very well and we still have to wait for semi-manual processing by the attendant. It never fails, someone can’t get their fingerprints to read and has to try multiple times, after enough failed attempts, you have to wait about 30 seconds for the machine to reset. It’s nowhere near 2 hours, LOL, but it’s an annoyance in any case. I don’t want to see that queue get 20+ people long due to the TTP card being too easily obtained.

        • LlamaOfDoom

          I wasn’t aware that there were any Japanese holidays that provided time off in mid-June (KIX incident) or early December (NRT incident). Both times, however, I got stuck behind a planeful of passengers from a visa-required country.

          And strangely enough, I haven’t had my fingerprints not read on the machine. I’ve had the machine error out on entry for reasons unknown to me while the staff waved me over to the diplomatic/crew line for full manual processing, however.