National

Narita airport to open more passport control counters at busy times

Kyodo

Narita International Airport plans to double the number of passport control counters handling arriving passengers at Terminal 2 in busy hours starting Wednesday, an airport source said.

The terminal has been alternating between its two immigration control sections following a sharp drop in foreign travelers at the country’s main international gateway after the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear plant disasters in 2011.

Both sections of the terminal will now open every day from around 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., the busiest time for arrivals at the airport serving Tokyo, with up to 40 counters handling both foreign and Japanese travelers, the source said.

The terminal has been experiencing an increase in traveler numbers, with up to several hundred people lining up to clear immigration at peak hours on some days. There had been growing calls to address this issue out of concern it was giving arriving passengers a poor first impression of Japan.

The decision to open more passport control counters was made after talks between officials from customs, immigration and quarantine services, according to the source.