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We'll decide on facial age-verification technology after looking into whether it can reliably prevent minors from purchasing cigarettes.

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A Finance Ministry official, on whether or not to install automatic age-verification devices on all cigarette vending machines in addition to the identity card readers that are due to be fitted to all such machines by July. (Yomiuri Shimbun)

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I wonder if the machine can tell if a child is wearing a mask of Prime Minister Fukuda?

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I wonder if the machine can tell if a child is wearing a mask of Prime Minister Fukuda?

Or if it can tell PM Fukuda from Homer Simpson.

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since the MOF still owns like 65% of Japan Tobacco, my guess is the answer will be NO

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Of course they could also save a heck of a lot of that taxpayers money they are supposed to be spending wisely by simply not showering mountains of other people's hard earned cash on dodgy IT consultants and silly IT projects. If they really think there is a problem it would be much easier and more efficient to scrap all cigarette vending machines and limiting tobacco sales to supervised counters at kiosks and convenience stores, many other countries have. Of course a few might still be tempted to supply underage smokers but that could be discouraged by thumping fines.

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