Japanese Authorities Expand Use of NEC’s Biometric Airport Tech

“…the scope of the order appears to extend beyond temporary visitor processing, with NEC describing it as an “electronic customs procedure system” and highlighting the anticipated large-scale influx of visitors entering Japan.”

Japanese Authorities Expand Use of NEC's Biometric Airport Tech

Japanese authorities are expanding their use of NEC‘s facial recognition technology to more airports in the country, with the Japanese company announcing that it has received a new order from the Ministry of Finance’s Japan Customs agency, building on a deployment at Narita International Airport that went live earlier this year.

NEC’s announcement comes soon after Japanese authorities announced a biometric traveler processing system for temporary visitors to Japan, which would scan their faces and match them against travel documents upon departure. While NEC’s new contract concerns most of the same airports highlighted by Japanese authorities in that earlier announcement – Haneda, New Chitose, Fukuoka, Kansai, Chubu, and Narita – the scope of the order appears to extend beyond temporary visitor processing, with NEC describing it as an “electronic customs procedure system” and highlighting the anticipated large-scale influx of visitors entering Japan.

Further explaining its system in a statement, NEC indicated that it revolves around the company’s NeoFace facial recognition engine. A traveller’s face is initially scanned at an electronic customs kiosk, and their face is later scanned again at an “exit gate” at the end of the airport screening process, biometrically matching this later image to the initial registration at the kiosk. Travelers can be scanned passively as they move through the exit gate, with no need to stop again for screening.

The electronic declaration kiosk is also designed to match travelers’ faces to the biometric data in their e-passports, further enhancing both convenience and security. Another component of NEC’s solution, meanwhile, is a customs declaration mobile app to further streamline the screening process.

NEC says its aim is to have the new biometric passenger processing systems operational in March of 2020, just in time for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

July 11, 2019 – by Alex Perala