Japanese Immigration Authority Orders More Biometric eGates from Panasonic

“While the initial trials of Panasonic’s biometric eGates were aimed at Japanese citizens, the company says that 123 of the 203 units that will be in operation thanks to this latest order will be used to process foreign nationals.”

Japanese Immigration Authority Orders More Biometric eGates from Panasonic

The Immigration Services Agency of Japan’s Ministry of Justice is expanding the use of biometric eGates at the country’s airports, and has contracted Panasonic‘s help.

The electronics company has already been involved in Japan’s growing biometric border efforts for some time. Authorities began trialing Panasonic’s face-scanning eGates back in the autumn of 2017, eventually deploying 137 units across the Haneda, Narita, Chubu Centrair, Kansai, and Fukuoka airports. Now, the company says that the authorities’ latest order will bring the total number of its eGates being used in the country to 203 units.

The news comes after the Immigration Services Agency’s announcement earlier this summer that it will begin applying facial recognition to international visitors who are leaving the country through Tokyo’s Haneda airport, matching their faces against data in their ePassports. While the initial trials of Panasonic’s biometric eGates were aimed at Japanese citizens, the company says that 123 of the 203 units that will be in operation thanks to this latest order will be used to process foreign nationals.

Panasonic has confirmed that the new eGates have initially been deployed at the Haneda airport, and says that additional units will be deployed to the aforementioned airports in Nagoya, Osaka, and Fukuoka, as well as to the Sapporo New Chitose airport in mid-November and the Okinawa Naha airport in July of 2020 – just in time for the summer Olympics in Tokyo.

“With Japan aiming to realize its goal of becoming a tourism nation and increasing the number of foreign visitors coming to Japan to 40 million a year by 2020 and 60 million by 2030, various efforts have been made by the Ministry of Justice… to streamline the departure and return procedures for Japanese nationals and the departure procedures for foreign nationals through the use of automated facial recognition gates”, Panasonic explained in a statement announcing this latest order.

The company added that the Ministry of Justice estimates that about 80 percent of all Japanese travelers use Panasonic’s biometric eGates during the airport screening process – a number that will surely increase as more biometric eGates are put into operation over the next year.

September 5, 2019 – by Alex Perala


Like all biometrics solutions, face recognition technology measures and matches the unique characteristics for the purposes of identification or authentication. Often leveraging a digital or connected camera, facial recognition software can detect faces in images, quantify their features, and then match them against stored templates in a database.

Face scanning biometric tech is incredibly versatile and this is reflected in its wide range of potential applications. Learn more on FindBiometrics’ Facial Recognition page.