Narita Airport to introduce face-recognition gates
08 June 2018 16:20 GMT

Japan's main international hub, Narita Airport, will start using facial recognition technology at immigration gates to shorten screening time and improve security.

The Immigration Bureau demonstrated the technology to the media on Friday ahead of its debut next Monday.

The gates compare a traveler's passport photo with an image taken on the spot. When the 2 images match, the gates open automatically.

Until now, one official has been assigned per gate. The bureau says a single official will now be able to handle 6 gates.

The bureau initially plans to use the gates for Japanese nationals returning home and to assign more staff to screen the growing number of overseas visitors.

Facial recognition gates are to be introduced at 4 other airports across Japan later this year.

A record 28.7 million foreign tourists visited Japan last year. The figure is up nearly 20 percent from a year ago.

Immigration authorities hope that the gates will help reduce the waiting time for visitors.