Pre-Clearance Immigration Procedure to Operate for World Cup

      January 15, 2002 19:40

      World Cup visitors visiting Korea from Japan and vice versa will pass through immigration clearance at one site in Incheon International Airport and in Japan during the joint hosting of the 2002 World Cup Finals.

      The government announced Tuesday that Seoul and Tokyo have agreed to operate pre-clearance according to the free visa system between the two nations, which will be adopted tentatively before the 2002 World Cup event in an effort to prevent congestion from hundreds of thousand of people coming to and going from both countries.

      When the pre-clearance system starts, travelers to Japan can receive clearance to enter at an office manned by Japanese officials at Incheon International Airport. After arriving at Japan's Narita Airport, they can skip immigration procedures and need only to obtain customs clearance.

      However, the two countries have failed to reach an agreement regarding the duration of the system as Japan wants it to come in effect only during the World Cup, while Korea prefers a two month trial run prior to the event.

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