TOKYO -- Visitors to Japan will be able to use their fingerprints instead of passports to identify themselves at some hotels thanks to technology introduced by a Tokyo venture.
With financial help from the economy and industry ministry, Liquid will start offering a fingerprint-based authorization system by March in a bid to increase travel convenience. Some 80 hotels and Japanese-style inns in major tourist spots like Hakone and Atami, two hot spring resort areas not far from Tokyo, will be among the first to install the system. More inns and hotels will follow.
The ministry will cover part of the installation costs.
Visitors to Japan can register their fingerprints along with their passport information in their home countries or at registration spots at airports or elsewhere in Japan. Foreign travelers can then identify themselves at a hotel's front desk by waving their fingers over a contactless device.
Japanese law requires hotels to check and keep copies of foreigners' passports. But the economy ministry and the ministry of labor have decided to treat "digital passports" as legitimate alternatives.