national

Airports in Japan to introduce facial recognition for foreign visitors

67 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

67 Comments
Login to comment

Does this mean that the fingerprinting system will become redundant?

If no, then where will the time saving be ?

16 ( +20 / -4 )

@kurisupisu, I've never seen anyone get printed leaving Japan...ever!

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Will this shorten the time going through customs or just an added step to get everyone's info.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

It won't be long before it's 1984 again and the boot starts to stamp on our faces - forever?

7 ( +10 / -3 )

the article says DEPARTING short-term visitors, so many of the previous comments are irrelevant. Doesn’t matter what your face looks like after a long flight since you are getting on the plane, no it doesn’t replace fingerprints since those are taken when you enter Japan, and it's not going to affect customs since this is departing immigration.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Euro Dude - read the article.  Says DEPARTING the country.  not sure why but.......

5 ( +5 / -0 )

So what happens when the doors don't open?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Would this work for South Koreans with all the plastic surgery going on there?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

They already use this in Singapore. Doesn't work so well for me, so after 3 or 4 tries I get pulled aside and asked a bunch of questions. Safe to say, I am not a fan.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I can’t complain about what system the Japanese use because it’s not my country. That’s for the Japanese to determine. At some point these police state policies that technology has made so easy to implement may cause me to think twice about traveling to and residing in the country. Some may say that if you aren’t doing anything wrong then there is nothing to worry about. That attitude is not the point for people who believe that they should be free of interference from government unless there is good reason to believe you did something harmful to others. The ability to track people with cameras in cities like London is creepy and smacks of Big Brother police state living conditions.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Bugle boy, you have it !

Maybe you win the lottery, or are thrown for a few months in a cell ?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Euro DudeToday  03:53 pm JST

This is bad and will create a lot of problems. Your face after 12-14 hours of flight will look nothing like the ine in the passport. It wasn’t enough you needed Prison like checking with finger prints and mugshots, but to add insult to the injury, now facial recognotion check too??

Verry welcoming and warm way to great your guests Japan. Very welcoming indeed. /sarcasm

The article says that this is for foreigners departing Japan -- not incoming ones.

I presume it may be for trying to catch anyone who may be wanted for an alleged crime, who's trying to leave the country to avoid arrest.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@papigiulio Will this shorten the time going through customs or just an added step to get everyone's info?

It's for Immigration, specifically Departures - nothing to do with Customs which are checked on arrival after Immigration.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I registered for the automatic gate (15 min process) only to find that you still need to go to fill out a departure card & visit the officer at the window! What a complete waste of time...true automatic gates will be very welcome provided they can be used by residents and not just short term visitor departures. Knowing Japan though, I'm not hopeful.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

They already have this at London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports for British nationals arriving back to the UK, and 80% of the time the bloody gates never work for me....

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@ Girl_in_tokyo

I am a foreigner with a permanent resident visa in Japan, you obviously don't know about what you are saying.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Actually,fingerprints are taken on entrance and exit from Japan!

I've flown out of Narita five times this year and I've never been fingerprinted leaving. Actually, since I'm SOFA, I don't get fingerprinted coming in either.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

qazwsx - the article says DEPARTING short-term visitors, so many of the previous comments are irrelevant. 

*"Facial recognition gates were introduced at Haneda airport for incoming Japanese travelers in October 2017."*

Fail of the day!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Why only outgoing? Why not incoming as well?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"Facial recognition gates were introduced at Haneda airport for incoming Japanese travelers in October 2017. They are now also in use for Japanese nationals at four other major airports -- Narita, Chubu, Kansai and Fukuoka."

Won't be long now...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm SOFA, I don't get fingerprinted coming in either.

Military already has your fingerprints on file and have probably shared them with the Japanese authorities anyway. So dont think you are special!

Kind of bugs the hell out of a lot of people here that SOFA status folks can come in and out of the country here without having the need for a visa!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Facial recognition is being used by the British police on the streets.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I don't understand why there are so many negative comments. We have had facial recognition in Australia for entry and exit for several years. There were some initial problems but it works well now. When the system doesn't work for you which is not often even after a long flight, you go to a person and get checked in the same way as previously but without the queues. It is also able to be used by nationals of quite a few other countries who have the same system.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

"I can't believe that such a large percentage of people posting in this thread are English teachers and have such poor reading comprehension skills!"

Don't they teach reading/comprehension in Australia anymore?!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Mlodinow

Me too, but that makes us residents and not really "foreign visitors” within the context of the article. Using the exit gates is pretty much a waste of time (and probably a victory for the bureaucrats). I just go straight to the normal manned exit desks at NRT/HND; but the registration system does work well for re-entry, I'm sometimes collecting the bags before my Japanese spouse is through.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

im English and for some reasons im proud of it but for the fact we are the most cctv f.r nation on the planet it makes me wonder wtf is the end game, linked with social media and no thinking person could conclude it is nothing less than a soft 1984 i.e brave new world. Huxley even wrote to Orwell congratulating him on his book, funnily enough Huxley had tutored Orwell at Cambridge..

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@disillusioned. You are the one with the poor comprehension. Japanese CITIZENS/NATIONALS incoming to Japan yes, and foreign citizens DEPARTING Japan. Foreign citizens entering Japan cannot use this. That’s what we are talking about.

Rhaegar above mentioned that as well-only works coming in on Japanese passports.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The statists who love this are going to be the end of us. The ignorance of history in this day and age...they have the internet at their finger tips but either don't use it or think history is mythology or something. There are evil people out there and there always has been. And there are plenty in every government on Earth right now. I am sorry, but I don't want to be tagged like cattle and I don't want any government or mega corporation being able to track my every move by being able to collect data like this. Even the happiest statist has got to admit this just makes the job of immigration officer too easy so they get stupid for not having to use their brain and that's going to have bad results. They are not making the world any safer. And the only reason lines are slow is because the authorities are not employing enough people and because they do a lot of unnecessary things. But this sort of garbage is going to come back to haunt us. If you are going to be paranoid at least be smart about it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

From the Japan Times which is a bit clearer than the above article:

”Japanese nationals have been able to complete immigration entry and departure processes at unmanned gates using facial screening technology at some of Japan’s airports since fall 2017.

But foreign travelers can only use the system when they leave Japan, as non-Japanese, including residents, get fingerprinted and photographed upon entering the country as a measure to prevent terrorism and other illegal activities.

The immigration agency official also said that only travelers staying in Japan up to three months will be able to use the system. He explained it can’t be utilized by residents of Japan and those with other visa statuses, as their immigration procedures require verification of their residence status.”

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@techall - pretty sure Girl in Tokyo was using sarcasm.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So there are only two types of people using the airport:: short term foreign visitors, and Japanese.

There are no non-Japanese that live here permanently. Okay then.

And just in case you are being serious here and not sarcastic.... I have probably been here in Japan longer than you have been alive, so better luck next time!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And your information will likely be updated. Here government, this is what I look like now.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's keeping this of us who have nothing to hide safe and speeding the process of entering and /or exiting a country up.

Nothing to hide doesn't mean I want them leaking the data accidentally. Data will be leaked. US CBP leaked "fewer than 100,000" border crossings into Canada a few weeks ago due to lack of oversight. https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/06/hackers-stole-thousands-of-border-crossing-photos-from-border-agency/

Some reading for people believing "nothing to hide"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nothing_to_hide_argument

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Fine . . . if it speeds up the process. Who would you be rather greeted by at the Immigration department, a machine, or a grumpy Immigration officer who has been dealing with tired travelers for 8 hours?

If you are traveling you already have a biometric passport which has all if this data embedded in it. All the scanners are doing is matching the physical biometric markers with those in the passport to validate the person is who he/she say they are, then recording their time of entry/port of entry into the country.

Any introduction of new systems will always have a few bugs to iron out, ie how many of the new readers should go in the Internal Queues, and how many for Japanese and returning residents.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is bad and will create a lot of problems. Your face after 12-14 hours of flight will look nothing like the ine in the passport. It wasn’t enough you needed Prison like checking with finger prints and mugshots, but to add insult to the injury, now facial recognotion check too??

Verry welcoming and warm way to great your guests Japan. Very welcoming indeed. /sarcasm

0 ( +17 / -17 )

It’s hard to believe there are so many negative posts. This system makes getting through passport control as quick as going through a Cuica train gate. The facial recognition software is not affected by 12 hours on a flight or 30 beers. It is not affected by years either. The key facial structures registered within the chip do not change. Those who are doubting it should do s not if research on how it works.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

This won’t fix entry…. hope they eventually roll this out to entry as well….. re-entry  in January was mayhem…. Re-entry permit holders and PR’s were put into the same lines as tourists…. The lines were huge and it took about 45 minutes to get through…. The automated gates were only usable on Japanese passports and these were the only entry options for Japanese Passports…. Some exceptions were made for foreign spouses of Japanese Nationals with kids to get though manually alongside the auto gates ….but it was just a mess TBH…. staff were apologetic with the situation though, just too many people too handle. After 20 years here it was quite a shock… I’ve always used the Japanese lines in the past and the re-entry holder gate was often faster than the standard Japanese Nationals lines… those were the good old days.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Does it mean that we like to make thing complex but easy???

Ladies no makeup please...............................................................

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For people who thinks they are extracting more data, your biometric passports provides a lot of data and your picture is already taken when you enter the country.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They're making bigger planes to carry more people, there are more flights in and out of the country, yet immigration and customs has remained the same - go figure

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So, all you criminals, drug runners, human trafficers and assorted low lifes, skip Japan and go to San Francisco, it's a sanctuary city. They don't allow facial recognition and can't notify federal agents if you are there.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think after a long flight it must be dehydration that makes me look like a monster.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is going to be hilarious and as about as efficient as the SARS detectors Japan bought way back when.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

the photo is also a little worrying as its minimal white mirror "image" makes it look so less danerous than it is.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

oh....and @smithinjapan. You can't help it can you? Off topic Japan Bashing. Shock.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@theResident

He's just clocking in for work.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@G.MAL.O.Q

Big words coming from another foreigner living in our country. If you leave there'll be space for him.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@G.MAL.O.Q

You have bought me a rare chuckle from this Website. Thank you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nothing to hide doesn't mean I want them leaking the data accidentally. Data will be leaked. US CBP leaked "fewer than 100,000" border crossings into Canada a few weeks ago due to lack of oversight. https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/06/hackers-stole-thousands-of-border-crossing-photos-from-border-agency/

Do you go outside? Because if you do, you're picture is taken dozens of times every day by random security cameras. Good luck keeping yourself off camera.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Fine . . . if it speeds up the process

Those who trade a little privacy for a little convenience soon won't have any at all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Military already has your fingerprints on file and have probably shared them with the Japanese authorities anyway. So dont think you are special!

Kind of bugs the hell out of a lot of people here that SOFA status folks can come in and out of the country here without having the need for a visa!

The military does not share that information with the Japanese government, nor would they have to. I volunteered this information a number of times in the past and have no problem with it unlike some.

SOFA is similar to a visa in that we need a stamp in the passport and it must be updated every few years so I don't know what you're so butthurt about.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

G.MAL.O.QJuly 2  04:11 pm JST

"Euro dude,

Nobody forces you to come. Actually, please don't. There's enough tourists already."

Hi there! I live here in Japan. This is my home. I pay taxes and teach your recalcitrant children. I have every right to be annoyed when I feel I am being discriminated against by the soon to be implemented facial recognition system.

As for foreign tourists, the Japanese who profit or in some way benefit from these people hate them all the way to the bank.

Oh yes. Editors: in your esteemed opinion do you believe that the above missive is impolite to Euro dude?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Euro Dude The facial recognition is based on the bone structure of the face ..not on how tired or how much makeup someone wear..jesus christ if you don't know something please don't go into these things cause you only confuse people and lower the credibility in these things.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

May I know, why are Japanese this afraid of foreigners ???. We did not decide to conquer all of Asia in world war ii .

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

How long is the data retained?

I'm not worried about the record of entry/exits. Keep that forever.

I'm worried about any biometric data being retained which will be hacked and end up being abused. There isn't any way for most people expire their face, fingerprints, palm prints, iris scans .... If you use any of these to unlock your door, phone, access to work, now another group of people have that data and can do the same.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So there are only two types of people using the airport:: short term foreign visitors, and Japanese.

There are no non-Japanese that live here permanently.

Okay then.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Good, every Nation has a right to protect its borders

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I love it how everyone complains about having to go through immigration, but when they come up with a way to ease the pain even a little, people get up in arms about having their picture taken.

News flash, they already have more info on you than this. Most likely you don't matter enough for any government to even care.

This reminds me of an episode of South Park where Cartman gets enraged when he discovers the NSA is spying on everyone, only to become even more enraged when he discovers that the NSA isn't spying on him because they declared him 'fat and unimportant'...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Do you go outside? Because if you do, you're picture is taken dozens of times every day by random security cameras. Good luck keeping yourself off camera.

I am not going to support evil just because its commonplace. See you upon your next pro-fascist argument.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So what happens when the doors don't open?

Bugle Boy -

Has it ever happened that the doors don't open for you going into the train or subway? You get the man to come and help you. It happens sometimes but it is not the end of the world.

I have been using photo recognition gates for some years and they work fine. Even Japanese can now use them at immigration on arrival Heathrow airport.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

> JenniSchiebel - The article says that this is for foreigners departing Japan -- not incoming ones.

I can't believe that such a large percentage of people posting in this thread are English teachers and have such poor reading comprehension skills!

One more time!

"Facial recognition gates were introduced at Haneda airport for *incoming** *Japanese travelers in October 2017."

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I use the automatic gates usually but the ordinary desks don’t require prints so...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Zero downside to ANY of this. Yes - its only for departing non-residents who are only in the system already anyway. People of Japan Today...get over the privacy issues already. There is nothing here that isn't already implemented in a dozen different ways in other countries. Ever caught a glance of what's on the Immigration Inspectors screen when you enter/leave Thailand..for example? I've seem images of myself from 10 years ago on a previous passport. Ever filled out an ESTA? They know everything about you already..so when you pass you through that 'quick' ESTA machine at LAX it makes no difference,

Its not '1984'..don't be so dramatic. It's keeping this of us who have nothing to hide safe and speeding the process of entering and /or exiting a country up. Yes, I know I am aware I am going to get 100 thumbs down because this website is populated by liberal privacy lovers who think that's a god given right. Well..thats what 9.11 got you, so live with it and move on.

And yes I have a problem with the auto gates at London Airports too...7/10 times, I then get promptly put to he from of the queue in front of a physical officer.

You lot love to complain about everything. Pathetic.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Skrew dat.

I'll fly to Korea, or Saipan, or someplace, and then fly to a regional airport in Japan

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It'll be tough for plastic South Koreans.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Actually,fingerprints are taken on entrance and exit from Japan!

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Euro dude,

Nobody forces you to come. Actually, please don't. There's enough tourists already.

-18 ( +10 / -28 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites