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Japan: Facial Recognition System to Screen Departing Foreign Visitors

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The Yomiuri Shimbun

The Justice Ministry plans to expand the use of a facial recognition system at Haneda Airport to four other airports.

The system, which currently screens the faces of Japanese nationals returning home, will also be used for foreigners leaving Japan from fiscal 2019. It allows a single immigration officer to oversee multiple stations, freeing other officers to screen foreigners for entry and deal with suspicious persons.

The ministry hopes through the system to strengthen antiterrorism measures for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Under the system, the photograph stored on a passport’s IC chip and photos taken at immigration counters are checked by computers to confirm whether both photos are of the same person.

Travelers place their passports over an electronic reader and position their faces close to an attached camera. If a match is determined, entry or exit is approved. Screenings take about 15 seconds, and the system can adapt to age-related changes. “There would be almost no cases of misidentification,” a senior ministry official said.

The government began using the system in October last year for reentry screenings of Japanese citizens at Haneda. Three machines … (read more)

via The Japan News

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