On Friday (August 4, 2023), Japan suspended the registration and card issuance for its Trusted Traveler Program with no advance notice but resumed the service today (August 7, 2023).
Japan launched a Trusted Travel Program (TTP) in 2017 with very scarce information about its eligibility requirements (read more here, here, and here).
You can access Japan’s page for TTP here.
The program was relaunched with little fanfare in early 2023, and the eligibility criteria were significantly expanded. Sebastian and I wrote about our application experiences (read more here and here).
Notice on TTP’s website (Google Translate):
* TTP has been temporarily suspended since August 4, 2023, but is now available for all users. (As of August 7, 2023)
TTP Application Issues:
The issue with this TTP program has been the rather long inspection progress once you fill out the required information and upload documents on the website (six weeks, in my case).
The time it takes at the airport to inspect the documents, collect the revenue stamps, read the fingerprints, and issue the card at the airport (mine took 50 minutes). (You can do this at select immigration offices too, but they may be even more congested.)
Japan Trusted Traveler Program Registration Experiences in 2023:
Experience Report: Japan’s Trusted Traveler Program (TTP) Is Now Open For New Applications & Entry Via Automated Gates
Japan’s Trusted Traveler Program (TTP) Application Experience
Not sure why Japan suspended the program for the weekend with no notice that they are bringing it back three days later. Those that had planned to collect their TTP card at the airport while exiting the country couldn’t.
As I have said before, they should restructure this entire application process because the processing time once you upload the documents on the website is weeks, and the final inspection and card issuance takes significant time at the airport.
The entire program has been under the table and only worthwhile due to the red tape for those visiting the country several times a year and want to ensure that their arrival experience is smooth.
I am back in Japan this autumn and happy to see how these automated gates work with the issued TTP card.