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Technology

Facial recognition tech to be tested in Fukushima for 2020 Olympics

TOKYO -- Accenture Japan and the University of Aizu in Aizuwakamatsu, Fukushima Prefecture, plan to launch by the end of this year tests of IT services that could be used for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games.

     These include the use of face and hand recognition technologies for admission to venues and public transportation, and automatic language translation services.

     These tests are estimated to cost more than 30 billion yen ($291 million) in total over five years, with one-third of the money coming from the national government.

     For the facial recognition technology, cameras will be installed at multiple locations along a shopping arcade in Aizuwakamatsu.

     The test will only involve those who register with the city hall their My Number personal identification code, which will be introduced in 2016. The city hall will obtain consent of these participants before registering their social security and tax identification numbers.

     Aizu Bus and local restaurants, meanwhile, plan to develop a system that can settle accounts through facial recognition and hand authentication.

     Details of the test will be finalized by representatives of Accenture, which is a major IT services provider, the University of Aizu, Aizu Bus and relevant government agencies at a meeting to be held in Aizuwakamatsu by early August.

     Five government bodies, including the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, will provide support, such as subsidies. The project has been designated by the Cabinet Office as a model case for regional development.

     Aizuwakamatsu Mayor Shohei Muroi said that municipal governments and private companies outside of Tokyo could still contribute to successful hosting of the Tokyo Olympics.  

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