New machine to shorten passport control lines
The Japanese government decided Friday to introduce a new machine to passport checkpoints at airport immigration counters to speed up the process of acquiring a facial photo and fingerprints of passengers queuing for the passport control.
The device is called “Bio-Cart”, and 81 of them are to be placed at three airports; Kansai (KIX), Takamatsu, and Naha. The new machines would go into use from Oct. 1st.
The Government has listed increasing the number of foreign visitors up to 40 million by 2020 as one of it’s key policy goals, and decided that the quick passport control process is necessary to deal effectively with large numbers of tourists. Eventually, the machines are to be placed in 12 airports, including Shin-Chitose in Sapporo, Narita, Chubu, and Fukuoka.
Any foreign visitor over 16 years of age needs to submit to the face photo and the fingerprinting. The longest average waiting times for the passport control last year were 38 min. at KIX, 35 min. at Takamatsu and 50 min. at Naha.