Japan's Narita airport introduces facial screening for outbound citizens, foreigners to be screened from 2020

Wednesday, 2018-10-03 20:31:02
 Font Size:     |        Print

Narita International Airport
 Font Size:     |  

Japanese immigration officials on October 3 began using a facial recognition system for Japanese travelers leaving the country from Narita International Airport near Tokyo, to improve efficiency and security.

The system has previously been used at Narita and four other international airports across Japan at the gates for inbound Japanese travelers.

Narita, however, is the first airport in Japan to use the system for outbound citizens.

"The changes will free up staff to handle different duties, including checking other visitors. We want to make the screening process smoother for travelers," Takashi Maruoka of Narita Airport District Immigration Office was quoted by Japanese public broadcaster NHK as saying.

According to the Immigration Bureau, the system, which automatically opens the gate when a photograph taken on the spot matches with that in the system's database, will be expanded to cover outbound foreign travelers by March 2020.

In August, according to immigration officials, the new facial screening gates were used by around 70 percent of returning Japanese passengers at international airports across Japan.