Narita to ditch old security checks


Most preliminary security checks conducted on the way to Narita International Airport will finally be abolished by the end of fiscal 2014, its operator said.

ID inspections of all visitors at checkpoints on its access road and train stations will be abolished, along with most checks of hand luggage and car trunks, in favor of facial recognition cameras and dogs, it said Thursday.

Travelers have long complained about traffic jams caused by the access road checkpoints during peak hours. Local officials have thus asked that the process be simplified to avoid steering people to Tokyo’s Haneda airport, which is now handling international flights.

Narita, the nation’s main international gateway, is the only airport in Japan that carries out such stringent checks. Considered rare at airports abroad, the checks have been in place since 1978.

  • Ron NJ

    The biggest “wait, what?” experience for me in all of this was the police checkpoint between the Narita Express arrival area and the terminals. What was the supposed point of flashing your passport to a police officer who didn’t even scan it or check your bags or anything? Just to make sure the passport picture matched the person holding it? Talk about a massive waste of resources. Good to hear that they’re getting rid of some of that ridiculousness.

  • Firas Kraïem

    Yes I was very surprised when I saw the passport check arriving at Narita. Even the U.S. doesn’t do that.

  • Jamie Bakeridge

    More importantly, can we have an answer to what this has achieved over the years? This has been an enormous disruption – let us hope that the answer shows that thousands of terrorists have been caught this way. What? Nothing at all? Why was it continued? BECAUSE NOBODY IN JAPAN IS CAPABLE OF MAKING A DECISION TO STOP THIS MADNESS!!!

  • blimp

    Airliners, who end up having to pay for this through the airport fee, have complained for years. Passengers should have complained as well since the fee is of course passed on to them.

    it should be said that it is not necessarily a passport control as you can show any kind of Japanese ID in additional to a passport. I always show my hokensho,