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, implementation of the gates is being planned at Narita, Kansai, Fukuoka, Chubu Centrair, New Chitose, and Naha Airports for 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."
There is no need to register in advance in order to use the gates.
In addition, Japanese nationals can use the gates in their departure and return procedures as usual.
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. This allows the Immigration Services Agency to allocate a greater number of immigration inspectors to the examinations of foreign nationals and to facilitate the immigration process while maintaining the strictness of the examinations.
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 photograph 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 their passport from an immigration officer.
(Note) About the stamp
Your passport will not be stamped.
If you would like a passport stamp, you may 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, before boarding the aircraft when departing Japan, or before undergoing the customs inspection when entering Japan. Please note that you will not be able to request a passport stamp at any other times. For those who require departure or return records, please make a disclosure request (see this page for information about the procedures) pertaining to departure or return records.
However, if proof of departure or return is urgently required, please contact the Regional Immigration Services Bureau at which you underwent the departure or return procedures (see this page for the outline of the Immigration Services Agency).
Entry (return)/exit records may be required for procedures in cases other than those listed below. Please make sure in advance that the records are not necessary before proceeding to the gate.
(Note) About photographs
The photographs taken at the facial recognition automated gates are used only for identity checks; they will not be stored.
You can undergo departure and return procedures by following the instructions on the display.
Reading your passport
By opening your IC passport to the information page and placing it face down on the passport reader with the flashing blue LED light, the machine will automatically be able to read the information on your IC passport.
The built-in camera at the facial recognition gates will take a photograph of your face. Face the camera and stay still until the photograph has been taken.
(Note) Please remove any hat, mask or sunglasses, and ensure your hair does not cover your eyes as this may interfere with facial recognition.
Passing through the gate
Once the facial recognition process is complete, the gate will open and you will be able to pass through it. If you use the facial automated recognition gates, you do not need to receive a stamp in your passport from an immigration officer. If you would like to receive a stamp, please ask the nearest immigration officer.