Australia, Britain, Japan, the United States and two other countries agreed during two days of talks through Wednesday in Tokyo to step up passport issuance controls as a means to effectively counter terrorism and illegal immigrants, a Japanese official said.

At the meeting of government officials in charge of controlling passports, attendees also said biometric technology is expected to enhance passport security, and agreed each country should strive to introduce it in a compatible format, according to the Foreign Ministry official.

The countries agreed on the need to establish an information network that can confirm the identities of passport holders online to prevent illegal acquisition of passports.

The meeting was the third of its kind since 2000. The other two countries in attendance were Canada and New Zealand.

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