On Friday, the government announced a plan to implement an online system for travel authorization of visa-exempt visitors.

The plan was included in the government's revised comprehensive package of measures for accepting foreign personnel, adopted at the day's meeting of related Cabinet ministers at the Prime Minister's Office.

The new system will have foreign visitors who are exempted from obtaining short-stay visas declare online their information such as the purpose of their stay before entering Japan.

The system's introduction aims to prevent illegal stays. The Immigration Services Agency will decide on details of the scheme by referring to the U.S. Electronic System for Travel Authorization, or ESTA, which the United States operates partly in an effort to prevent terrorism.

The Japanese government initially compiled the comprehensive package in 2018 and has revised it annually since then.

The latest revision involved the addition of 218 measures, including supporting foreigners' Japanese language ability development. This is with an eye on the planned launch of a new on-the-job skill development program in the country that will replace the current foreign technical intern scheme.