Starting this summer, the government will test a system in which foreign tourists will be able to verify their identities and buy things at stores using only their fingerprints.
The government hopes to increase the number of foreign tourists by using the system to prevent crime and relieve users from the necessity of carrying cash or credit cards. It aims to realize the system by the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The experiment will have inbound tourists register their fingerprints and other data, such as credit card information, at airports and elsewhere.
Tourists would then be able to conduct tax exemption procedures and make purchases after verifying their identities by placing two fingers on special devices installed at stores.
The Inns and Hotels Law requires foreign tourists to show their passports when they check into ryokan inns or hotels.
The government plans to substitute fingerprint authentication for that requirement.