A Machine-Readable passport has two lines of text at the bottom of the personal information page, along with the bearer’s digital photo instead of one that is glued on.  A biometric passport or an e-passport contains an electronic chip that can be read by special equipment to confirm the data printed on the passport and has the international symbols for an e-passport on the passport cover.

In such cases, these citizens would need to apply for a B1/B2 visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate.

No. All VWP travelers, regardless of age, must carry individual passports.

Yes. Japan started the issuance of passports with IC chips (e-passports) on March 20, 2006.

The Departments of State (www.travel.state.gov) and Homeland Security (www.cbp.gov) have links on their websites to passport requirements under the Visa Waiver Program.