Narita Airport Security

July 6th, 2010By Category: Uncategorized

Narita Airport, by way of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, has introduced full body scanners for a limited trial period. This is the next step in Japanese port security being considered after fingerprint scanning entered service a few years ago. That has proved both effective, and non-effective as cases of convicted criminals successfully being barred sit alongside a story that appeared in Japan Today of a Chinese woman who had an operation to change her fingerprints in order re-enter Japan after previously overstaying her visa.

Touted as an effective tool to prevent terrorist attacks, the body scanners being tested can see through clothing to reveal things hidden underneath. Objects being especially targeted include liquids and chemicals that otherwise escape metal detectors. Passengers will be asked for their feedback during the trial period. They work like this; a passenger arrives at Narita, stands on a designated point and the machine will scan their body, which is then displayed on a monitor. Any hidden objects will then show up. During the scanning a detailed outline of the body is displayed, but faces are airbrushed off to protect privacy, while the operators checking the images in a separate room are the same sex as the passengers who are scanned.

Images are all deleted after use. So far the trial is optional, but like the fingerprint scanning, if it proves to be popular with the airport security service and passengers remain relatively neutral you can expect it to enter full-service.  Do you think full-body airport scanners are needed? Thoughts welcome below…

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GaijinPot is an online community for foreigners living in Japan, providing information on everything you need to know about enjoying life here, from finding a job and accommodation to having fun.

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