Haneda introduces facial recognition eGates for Japanese

Expanding to Narita, Chubu and Kansai international airports 2018

Tokyo’s Haneda airport is introducing automated boarding control (ABC) eGates on Wednesday.

As reported in July, the system will use facial recognition and will start with three ABC eGates for arriving Japanese nationals.

Japan’s Justice Ministry hopes to introduce the system at Narita, Chubu and Kansai international airports in the fiscal year that starts in April 2018, expanding it to include departing Japanese nationals.

The aim of the system is to speed up the immigration procedures for Japanese citizens.

The ABC eGates gates will allow the airport to devote more staff to screening the increasing number of foreign visitors in the lead up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Japan expects more than 40 million overseas passengers in 2020, and 60 million in 2030.

How it works

Haneda ABC eGate
The ABC eGate has a huge mirror like screen

Like most facial recognition systems, passengers put their biometric passport into the ABC eGate and then have their picture taken by the eGate.

The eGate compares the live picture with the one in the passport.

If a match is found the passenger is allowed entry. If the system fails to detect a match, passengers will be screened by immigration officers.

The ministry says the system will take about 10 seconds to make the comparison.


Fingerprint wasn’t popular

Japan first introduced ABC eGates in 2007. They used fingerprint authentication and it wasn’t popular. As Japanese passports only have facial biometrics it meant that passengers had to register their fingerprints in advance.

N.B. Image credit: haneda airport

Internet links

Tokyo International Airport Haneda (HND)

Japan Ministry of Justice