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The government this year will consider equipping train station ticket gates with a system to detect explosives, transport ministry officials said.

The system, which the ministry still has to develop, would employ a device that blows air at a person passing through a gate and checks for explosive residue emanating from clothing or bags.

Antiterrorism measures for trains currently rely on visual monitoring, including security cameras and reports from passengers about suspicious behavior.

The ministry hopes the envisioned system will provide foolproof prevention, but there are many problems with practical implementation that must be overcome, including whether it would be able to detect traces of explosives in a very short time, the officials said.

The ministry has been considering antiterrorism measures for railways since fiscal 2007 in the wake of the 2005 terrorist bomb attacks on the London subway system.

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