You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myPalmBeachPost.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 myPalmBeachPost.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 myPalmBeachPost.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

South Korea’s Olympian winter moment
South Korea’s Olympian winter moment

Emerging from the warmth of her car, Jung Sang-mi watched her husband trudge up a snowy hill, red sled in hand, as their 5-year-old son bounded excitedly ahead, ready for another run. Like many young South Koreans in the congested capital of Seoul, she and her husband escape to the nearby Taebaek Mountains to hit the slopes several times each winter...
Beyond ear buds and eyerolls: 9 ways to make travel with your teen fun
Beyond ear buds and eyerolls: 9 ways to make travel with your teen fun

The low point of the trip wasn't when my husband, Andrew, and I hiked into the Grand Canyon without our teens, because Solomon and Celia opted to stay behind in our tiny cabin. As insane as it seemed for them to miss their chance to explore the most spectacular natural phenomenon our country has to offer, that morning, we chose to let it go. ...
The airport lounge scene: what you get and how to get in
The airport lounge scene: what you get and how to get in

Mango smoothies beckon. Soft pretzels dangle from a wooden rack. There are platters of Scottish smoked salmon, sausage, bacon, eggs, waffles, pancakes, croissants and cheese beside jars of homemade jams and a honeycomb hive tray.  So begins a Saturday morning in a Lufthansa first-class lounge at Germany’s Frankfurt Airport, where one can...
In Arizona heat, a high chill factor for spring Cactus League baseball

I'm walking down a long, paved sidewalk in early March, with a practice baseball field on my left and a grove of well-trimmed trees on my right. I'm worrying about the snow that fell as I left Washington, D.C., the night before, worrying about work and bills and the hassles of everyday life, worrying about the sunscreen I left at home.  A hundred...
Columbus, Ohio, gives up its secrets
Columbus, Ohio, gives up its secrets

I have a terrible confession: I never saw Ohio's capitol. A weekend in Columbus and not even a glimpse of the rotunda. But I have a very good excuse. I was lost in a 32-room bookstore. Well, that's not entirely true. I was also preoccupied with selecting a writing utensil from a lifestyle store founded by a guy with a beard and an office-supply obsession...
More Stories