Haneda Airport Runs Face Recognition Tech

Haneda airport runs face recognition tech

Haneda airport in Tokyo has started using unmanned face recognition technology at its departure gates for Japanese travelers.

The new system went into service at the airport's international terminal on Wednesday.

A passenger begins the process by swiping a passport over the reader. When a photograph taken on the spot matches the image already stored on the IC chip of the passport, the gate opens automatically.

A similar facial recognition system has been in use at Haneda since last year, but it's only for inbound Japanese travelers.

Authorities say using the system for outbound Japanese travelers as well will help further reduce the burden on immigration officials, who can spend more time handling inbound foreign visitors.

Japan expects a rise in the number of foreign visitors in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

They also hope the new system will cut the waiting time for travelers going through the gates and enhance security.

A senior immigration official at Haneda said travelers are screened more smoothly than before with the new gates.

The Immigration Bureau plans to introduce the same system for foreign tourists leaving Japan in the next fiscal year.