The U.S. state of Hawaii is working with its national authorities and Japanese immigration to create a system that allows Japanese tourists to complete immigration and customs procedures before departing from Japan, Hawaii Gov. Josh Green said.

Currently, Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu on the island of Oahu is the main gateway to other islands in Hawaii from Japan. If travelers can complete immigration procedures before departure, it will simplify entry to Hawaii and pave the way for direct flights to other islands, such as Maui, Green said in an interview during his recent visit to Japan.

The new initiative would allow direct flights to even those with no immigration facilities, making travel more convenient and in turn boosting local economies that have seen a downturn in tourists from Japan since the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.