Visitors and returnees to Japan will be able to go through simpler customs, immigration and quarantine procedures by using an application software from next week, the country's Digital Agency said Tuesday.

Travelers will not have to submit CIQ paper documents if they register themselves for the "Visit Japan Web" service, scheduled to be launched on Monday, via smartphone and other devices beforehand.

Photo taken on Dec. 14, 2021, at the Digital Agency shows an app to facilitate entrance to Japan by visitors. The app will be launched on Dec. 20. (Kyodo)

Digitalization of the procedures is expected to help reduce the risk of infection and burden on officials at airport CIQ facilities, which have been facing a shortage of staff.

Travelers who registered quarantine questionnaires and customs declarations, among others, containing their names, addresses, health conditions and other information via the app will just be asked to show their smartphones or other devices to officials upon their arrival.

Officials get travelers' information by scanning a QR code on their smartphones or other devices. The new service is expected to shorten the time of entry procedures.

The app will initially be available in English and Japanese, and the government will consider adding other languages later.

Japan, like other countries, has tightened its border controls amid the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus, believed to be more transmissible than previous strains and able to evade immunity provided by vaccines.

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