1. Use of facial recognition automated gates in the departure procedures for foreign nationals
The Immigration Services Agency is currently operating facial recognition automated gates in the departure and return procedures for Japanese nationals, and now starting with Haneda Airport on July 24, 2019, the operation of the gates is being planned in turn for Narita, Kansai, Fukuoka, Chubu Centrair, New Chitose and Naha airports in the departure procedures for foreign nationals. For further details of the planned schedule, please refer to the top part of the “List of airports introducing facial recognition automated gates(FY2019) [PDF]”.
Facial recognition automated gates
Moreover, there is no need to register in advance in order to use the gates.
In addition, Japanese nationals can use the gates in the departure and return procedures as per usual.
Purpose of introduction
Various efforts have been made with the aim of increasing the number of foreign visitors coming to Japan to 40 million by 2020 and 60 million by 2030 in order to realize the goal of a tourism-oriented country, and the role of immigration in this is to streamline the departure and return procedures for Japanese nationals and the departure procedures for foreign nationals through the use of facial recognition automated gates, to allocate a greater number of immigration inspectors to the examinations for foreign nationals, and to maintain the strictness of the examinations while ensuring greater facilitation.
2. Usage guide
Facial recognition automated gates check the identity of an individual by comparing the facial image in the IC chip of the IC passport with the facial image taken by the camera at the gate. If the identity of the individual is confirmed through the crosscheck and there are no problems, the individual is able to pass through the gate. If the individual uses the gate, there is no need to get a stamp in the passport from the immigration officer.
(Note) About the stamp
Your passport will not be stamped.
If you would like to get a passport stamp, you will be able to ask the immigration officer waiting behind the facial recognition automated gates or an officer in the examination office for a stamp after you have passed through the gate and before boarding the aircraft in the case of the departure procedures, and before undergoing the customs inspection in the case of the return procedures.
Please note that you will not be able to request a passport stamp after the above time. For those who require departure or return records, please initiate the procedures for a disclosure request (move to the page in Japanese for guidance on the procedures
) pertaining to departure or return records.
However, if proof of departure or return is urgently required such as in the following circumstances, please contact the regional immigration services office at which you underwent the departure or return procedures (move to the website of the Immigration Services Bureau
- Procedure for reacquisition due to expiration of a driver’s license while traveling abroad
- Procedure for notification on transfer into a certain area of Japan when returning to Japan from abroad
- Procedure to prove the combined period (exemption period) for the pension insurance scheme
- Procedure for tax exemption for non-residents
- Procedure to apply for a foreign visa
(Note) About facial photos
The facial photo taken at the facial recognition automated gates is used only to check identity and will not be stored.
Important points when using the facial recognition automated gates
(1) When using the facial recognition automated gates, you must:
- Have an IC passport
- Be able to operate the machine by yourself
- Be 135 cm or more in height
- In the case of foreign nationals, in addition to the above, it is necessary that you stayed in Japan with the status of residence of “Temporary Visitor” and intend to depart from Japan (except for departure with re-entry permission).
(2) If the gates cannot be used for any reason such as an inability to identify the person through crosschecking the facial image, please undergo the procedure at the inspection booth.
(3) Wearing a hat, sunglasses or mask or having your fringe in your eyes may interfere with the crosscheck with the facial image. Please remove your hat or other items before taking the facial photo.