Japan’s Justice Ministry has tested an automated facial identification system at airports for Japanese travelers, Asahi Shimbun reports. The first tests began at the Narita and Haneda airports.
According to the Ministry, the system will speed up immigration procedures by using machines to scan facial photos on Japanese passports and compare them with facial photos of the travelers taken on the spot. The new system will replace the current automated gates which require fingerprints that are registered in advance for identification. The ministry also said that it would test another system that combines the facial recognition system with the fingerprint identification system.
A ministry official in charge of the immigration procedures told Asahi Shimbun that the new system will enable immigration personnel to deal with foreign travelers more quickly. The tighter immigration procedures come as Japan expects the number of foreigners coming in the country to increase in the future.