Facial Recognition Coming to Tokyo Airports in July

Two of Japan’s main international airports will start using a new facial recognition system called “Face Express”. Therefore international passengers no longer have to show their tickets or passports when boarding.

Narita and Haneda airports, which are both used by travellers flying into Tokyo, plan to have the system ready before the start of the Tokyo Olympic Games in July 2021.

The new system means that airport staff won’t have to check each passenger’s documents at the gate. Instead, passengers scan their passports and boarding passes at a self-check-in machine when they first arrive at the airport. The machine then takes a photo of the passenger and scans their face to collect their facial data.

After that, passengers can drop off their bags, walk through the gates and board their plane without showing any ID.

According to a video on Narita airport’s website. The new facial recognition system will give passengers a faster, safer and more comfortable airport experience. Airport staff will also be able to use the extra time they have to give passengers better service, the site says.

Some passengers may not want to have their faces scanned due to privacy concerns, but on its website Narita promises that personal information and pictures of people’s faces will be deleted in 24 hours.