846 foreigners prevented from illegally
entering Japan under biometric ID system
A total of 846 foreigners have been prevented from illegally entering Japan over the past year
following the introduction of biometric identification systems at airports across the country,
according to the Ministry of Justice.
The ministry, which released a report on the system's first year results on Friday, added that the
number of visa overstayers is down 35 percent, compared to the previous year.
"Those illegally entering the country to work are being prevented, and the efficiency of border
measures is increasing," it said.
A total of 748 people were expelled for trying to re-enter the country during the 5-year period
following a previous deportation, including 290 Koreans, 137 Filipinos and 83 Chinese. A further
98 — 18 Filipinos, 16 Iranians and 10 Sri Lankans — were deported for using false passports.
There have also been a few cases of immigration identifying suspects wanted by police in
connection with crimes through biometric information.
As only the second country in the world to implement a biometric identification system for those
entering the country -- after the United States -- the immigration service was also geared up to
handle crowds of people refusing to be fingerprinted or photographed. So far however, there
has been only one case of this happening, that of a man from the Middle East.
"As the system becomes more widespread, it's gaining more acceptance," said immigration
(Mainichi Japan) November 28, 2008
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