New Details Emerge on Japan’s Biometric Tourism Plan

New details are emerging about the Japanese government’s plan to substitute tourists’ fingerprints for their payment cards.

New Details Emerge on Japan's Biometric Tourism PlanThe project was announced earlier this month, and entails connecting visitors’ biometric data to their financial information so that they can make easily make payments at tourist hotspots without having to fill out complicated tax exemption forms; it would also double as passport authentication at participating hotels.

Now, The Japan Times is quoting sources close to the project as saying that the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry plans to launch system trials this October in the Kansai, Kanto, and Kyushu regions. The system is being developed by Dai Nippon Printing Co. and Deloitte Tohmatsu Consulting LLC, and is reportedly called the Omotenashi Platform. While it will primarily revolve around fingerprint scanning, vein recognition will also be tested in some transit and entertainment applications in Kansai.

As previously reported, government authorities will use the system to track toursit activity and habits with the ultimate aim of improving the country’s tourism industry, particularly with respect to the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics. The Japan Times’ sources say that officials are hoping to have a report on the trial projects ready for next March.

Source: The Japan Times

April 20, 2016 – by Alex Perala