You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

‘Biocarts’ slashing entry procedure times at three Japanese airports


Mobile terminals dubbed “biocarts,” which have recently been introduced at three Japanese airports, have successfully reduced the time taken by foreign visitors to complete entry procedures by up to 40 percent, according to the Justice Ministry.

Eighty-one of the terminals, which are equipped with cameras and other equipment to take visitors’ photographs and fingerprints while they wait in line, were introduced on Oct. 1 at Kansai, Naha and Takamatsu airports.

Additional immigration inspection desks and personnel were also stationed at the airports. The terminals were intended to reduce the waiting time at the desks by enabling people to complete photo and fingerprint requirements beforehand.

The time inspection officers take to process foreign visitors at the desks at the three airports was cut by 30 percent to 40 percent as a result, according to ministry figures.

Furthermore, the biocarts reduced the total waiting time for travelers, including time spent in line.

In the first half of October, the average longest time to complete entry procedures at both the north and south inspection areas in Terminal 1 of Kansai Airport was 29 minutes, according to the ministry. During the same period last year, the figure was 52 minutes for the south area and 50 minutes for the north area. In both areas, the time has been cut by more than 40 percent.

The biocarts “are producing the results we were hoping for,” a senior Justice Ministry official said.

As of the end of October, more than 20 million foreign visitors had come to Japan in 2016. With the number of foreign visitors expected to grow ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, efforts to speed up entry procedures at airports and other entry points around Japan has become an important issue.

The ministry plans to introduce biocarts at 12 airports, including Narita, from next fiscal year and beyond.

The ministry is also considering introducing additional steps, including “advance entry inspections” in which foreign visitors could do immigration procedures at their point of departure.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Travel

Retracing Cuban heritage in Old Havana
Retracing Cuban heritage in Old Havana

In her café-con-leche-flavored memories, she knew she was of Cuban heritage, but she knew nothing of Cuba. My wife, Eileen Santa Cruz Osinski, grew up in Ybor City, the Cuban-American enclave of Tampa, Florida. Her ethnic identity had none of the bitterness of ideology or revolution, just the sweet, milky mixture of family, food, music and faith...
5 Georgia hiking getaways for you and Fido
5 Georgia hiking getaways for you and Fido

If you're the kind of person who shops for hiking gear at both a sporting goods and a pet store, Georgia has plenty of getaways for you and your four-legged friend to tackle together. All of the campsites at Georgia State parks welcome leashed dogs. Rangers even lead regular dog hikes at two of the closest parks to Atlanta – High Falls...
Once the queen of the skies, the 747 will soon be just a flying truck
Once the queen of the skies, the 747 will soon be just a flying truck

LOS ANGELES — The wide-bodied Boeing 747 was once known as the queen of the skies, an instantly recognizable behemoth revered for its luxury and spaciousness.  As time passed, however, the original jumbo jet was outstripped by more efficient twin-engine planes.   Now the 747’s days as a passenger plane are numbered. Delta...
With just 100 days of water left, Cape Town risks running dry

Cape Town, the crown jewel of South Africa's tourism industry, has 100 days before it runs out of water.  After two years of the least rainfall on record, the average level of the six main dams that supply the city of 3.7 million people has dropped below 30 percent, one of the lowest levels on record. The last 10 percent of the reservoir water...
Airlines expect 4 percent rise in passengers this spring

DALLAS (AP) — Coming off another highly profitable year in 2016, U.S. airlines expect traffic this spring to increase 4 percent over last year, and they are adding seats to handle the crush.  The trade group Airlines for America forecast Monday that a record 145 million U.S. passengers will fly between March 1 and April 30.   The...
More Stories