Long lines at airport immigration may soon be a thing of the past. Thanks to the Justice Ministry’s plan to use a facial recognition system in Japanese airports, your time waiting may just speed up with this.
The system will be experimentally installed at both the Haneda and Narita international airports by this August and will run for five weeks. Japanese travelers would be identified by cross-referencing their photos taken at immigration areas with their passport information, which would speed up the processing for Japanese nationals, leaving more time to check foreign nationals entering the country. With Tokyo hosting the 2020 Olympics, the government is anticipating an influx of foreigners visiting through these entry points and hopes to offer a quick immigration process.
The system will get information from the integrated circuit chips in the traveler’s passport while at the immigration counter. A photo of the passport holder will be taken on the spot and this will be the raw data in the system with which cross-checking will be based on. Photos of the passport holder will be taken two ways: one standing still, while the next one is of the person walking. A bidding will be opened to companies that could provide the facial recognition system. If successful, the government hopes to fully launch it by the year 2017.