• Kyodo

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To speed up immigration procedures, authorities Monday started testing a new identification system at two major airports near Tokyo.

The purpose is to determine whether facial and other biometric data stored in electronic passports can be accurately machine-read to identify their holders. To do this, immigration officials will take photos and fingerprints of travelers who give their approval and compare them with their passport data.

The testing at Tokyo’s Haneda airport and Narita airport in Chiba Prefecture will involve only Japanese nationals and will last until Sept. 30, the ministry said.

After concluding the testing, the ministry said it will check the accuracy and effectiveness of the new identification system by the end of March.

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