National

Passenger ID system to help fight terrorists

Japan plans to introduce an advanced passenger-information system in fiscal 2005 to enhance security measures against terrorists and criminals, government sources said Wednesday.

The National Police Agency and the Justice and Finance ministries have jointly developed the APIS, which is similar to a system introduced in the United States.

The APIS will receive information from airlines when passengers check in at overseas airports for flights to Japan and screen the information using the computer systems of the police, immigration and customs authorities, the sources said.

The information will include a passenger’s name, sex, nationality and date of birth.

The system will enable the three government agencies to send law enforcement officers to seize internationally wanted criminals at airports, they said.

The government will ask airlines in dozens of countries to cooperate in operating the APIS. The requests are expected to be accepted because the U.S. has already launched a similar system, they said.

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