The Foreign Ministry plans to set up online computer systems at all overseas diplomatic missions to help prevent blacklisted foreign nationals from entering Japan, ministry officials said Wednesday.

The new system will allow the immediate detection of foreign nationals who have criminal records or are linked to terrorist groups, the officials said.

The ministry hopes the move will prevent such people from entering Japan at the time of their visa application as there has been a sharp rise in the number of serious crimes committed by foreign nationals in recent years, a ministry source said.

The ministry is also considering strengthening the proposed online system by having fingerprints as well as background information available, the officials said.

Japan’s diplomatic establishments currently check the identities of foreign nationals applying for visas to Japan via a CD-ROM to see if they are blacklisted by Japanese or international authorities. However, the CD-ROM is only updated once a month.

Moreover, the diplomatic establishments “are unable to fully access the entire information on each applicant due to the limited amount of information that a CD-ROM can hold,” a senior ministry official said.

The ministry plans to include about 3.1 billion yen for the project in the ministry’s funding request for a state budget for next fiscal year.

The move is part of the ministry’s effort to simplify administrative work for issuing visas to Japan at embassies or consulates abroad, they added.

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