Japan is one of the visa-waiver countries when visiting US, but pre-entry registration will be required from January 2009. I will need to do it next year for US business trip!!
(Source: Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121246184786840497.html )
By SIOBHAN GORMAN, June 3, 2008.
WASHINGTON -- Starting in January, travelers to the U.S. from countries whose citizens aren't required to obtain visas will have to register with the Department of Homeland Security at least three days before their arrival.
The new electronic system for travel authorization will collect the same information now required from passengers on a form upon their arrival in the country, the Homeland Security official said. The information includes basic data such as name, date of birth and passport number.
"It's a 21st-century version of the 20th-century paper version that exists today," the official said. "We're not asking for new information.We're just getting it earlier."
The department for years has sought to tighten its visa-waiver program, and some Capitol Hill lawmakers have proposed shutting it down because of concerns that would-be terrorists will fly in from one of the 27 countries, especially because Islamic extremism has taken hold in Britain. Other countries in the program include Singapore, Japan and Australia.