• Kyodo

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The government is considering adding stricter alert levels for security checks on passengers at airports, government sources said Sunday.

The Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry is considering adding two security levels above phase E, the strictest of the three current alert levels, they said. The other two levels are phases 1 and 2.

The ministry also envisions doing away with phases 1 and 2 and making phase E the ordinary state, according to the sources.

Currently, all airports across the nation are subject to the same alert level, but the ministry envisages applying any of the phases to any airport under a new system, they said.

Airports across Japan have been on phase E alert since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.

As alert levels rise, luggage checks, metal detector tests for passengers and their identity confirmation become stricter.

Under phase E, airline companies are obliged to check all international flight passengers against the photos and names in their passports. The airlines must have all transit passengers enter the airport and conduct security checks on them when they board their connecting flights.

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