Why Japanese Women Traveling to Hawaii are Being Turned Away

An increasing number of Japanese women are finding it harder to enter the US and are getting turned back at the border.

Unseen Japan


By Jay Allen

Turned back from America

With international travel once again A Thing, more people from Japan are traveling abroad. Unfortunately, some young Japanese women who try and take vacations to the United States — especially solo — are finding themselves turned back at the border.

Enticement to travel to Hawaii

Picture: tabiphoto / PIXTA(ピクスタ)

As we’ve written before, Japan has the world’s strongest passport, allowing visa-free travel to up to 190 countries. Sadly, only about 25% of Japanese citizens possess one. Many either don’t care to travel abroad or, if they do, feel they can’t afford it.

Still, before 2020, a lot of Japanese people traveled abroad. 2019 saw the most outbound tourism ever, at 20 million people.

Where does Japan go when it holidays abroad? The leader by far is the United States — which, for this purpose, includes territories such as nearby Guam, the Marianas, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

The majority of those travelers are headed to Hawaii, the favored destination of over half of the travelers to the US in 2019. In 2019, between January and September, some 1.17 million Japanese citizens made the trek. In 2023, only 380,000 have made the trip during the same period.

To encourage more vacationers from Japan, the US and Japan are discussing an expedited immigration process specifically for those entering Hawaii. If approved, Japanese travelers could clear immigration and customs in Japan. They could then go straight to the baggage claim once they land on the islands. However, this plan is still in the early discussion phases.

An immediate flight home

But just because the occupation government of Hawaii wants more visitors doesn’t mean it wants all visitors. A spike in global prostitution has US Customs and Border Patrol…