Nationals of countries included in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) (including Japan) who plan to travel to the USA after January 12, 2009 are required to complete an online application on the ESTA* website to obtain travel authorization. This must be completed before commencing boarding procedures for a USA-bound flight.Customers cannot perform boarding procedures without travel authorization, so be sure to complete the application process before coming to the airport.
*What is ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization)? ESTA is an online application and system for obtaining advance authorization to use the visa waiver program.
Presenting a copy of your ESTA Application Number is not a requirement, as operating airlines can confirm on their check-in system whether a customer has travel authorization. However, we recommend that you bring a copy of your Application Number in case it is required to confirm your identity or for some other reason.
The ESTA application can be accessed from the official ESTA site.
ESTA official site: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/