Japan to ease airport rules for foreign private jet arrivals

Japan will ease landing and other access procedures at airports for foreign private jets that arrive in the near future in hopes of attracting more big-spending tourists.

Under the new rules, the required period to apply for permission to land in Japan will be shortened from at least 10 days before arrival to three, with it made possible to submit an application up to 24 hours in advance under unavoidable circumstances, the government said.

The move is intended to increase the number of high net-worth foreign visitors by allowing more flexible travel itineraries, as private jets are often used by high-profile individuals who seek convenience, comfort and privacy.

Japan has allowed landing by private jets for business and medical purposes with three days' notice, but a revision to the notification based on the Civil Aeronautics Law will add those arriving for sightseeing reasons, the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry said.

In 2019, Japan saw a total of 5,962 arrivals and departures by foreign private jets, including for business purposes, a 1.8-fold increase from 2014.

The number dropped to 1,332 in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it rebounded to 3,142 last year.

The Japanese government is aiming for annual inbound tourist spending to reach 5 trillion yen ($35.5 billion). It hopes to see increased spending on accommodation, shopping and dining, with a focus placed on attracting wealthy visitors.

© Kyodo News