Japan to develop securer passport with hard plastic ID page to help prevent terrorism

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 02 October, 2016, 4:43pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 02 October, 2016, 4:43pm

Japan’s Foreign Ministry will follow European countries in introducing a passport with a hard plastic page containing identity information, making it harder to forge as part of measures to prevent crime and terrorism, an official of the ministry said on Saturday.

The ministry aims to add the new security feature in the fiscal year starting April 2023, the official said.

Experts have been reviewing ways to improve passport security for the ministry since 2014.

The ministry has decided to centralise passport issuance which is currently conducted by each prefecture and requested around 300 million yen (US$3 million) from the fiscal 2017 budget to develop a new issuance system for the National Printing Bureau.

Centralised passport printing is recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

The ministry changes passport designs every five to eight years to keep security features up to date. The next design change scheduled in the fiscal year from April 2019 will not include the hard plastic page, a feature already introduced in such countries as Germany and the Netherlands.