Japan readies facial recognition at airports to stop terrorists

posted on March 21, 2016

Mindful of the importance of tighter immigration control ahead of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, the Japanese government will start using a facial recognition system at airports to strengthen its ability to catch terrorists trying to sneak into the country.

The new shinkansen line will open Saturday and use the same long undersea tunnel
Photographing the face of every incoming foreigner already is part of the passport control system at Narita, Haneda and other Japanese airports. The new facial recognition system will allow those photos to be compared instantly against images of terrorists.

The Justice Ministry seeks roughly 300 million yen ($2.69 million) in its fiscal 2016 budget request to install the system at all immigration sections at airports nationwide. The ministry already received about 800 million yen in the fiscal 2015 supplementary budget to roll out the system, beginning as soon as this summer.

The ministry created a center for handling intelligence related to foreign visitors last autumn. Staffed with intelligence specialists, this center in January began obtaining data from airlines such as the names, ages and nationalities of incoming passengers as well as places they had visited prior to boarding the aircraft.

Such information, as well as fingerprints, already is used in the Japanese passport control process to stop undesirable individuals from entering the country. But when dealing with terrorists, photos are often the only available information.

source by nikkei
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