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Japan Customs taps AI for anti-smuggling enforcement

Screening of narcotics and illicit arms to be tightened as Olympics looms

Japan Customs officials have been inundated by the sheer number of parcels arriving in the country from overseas.

TOKYO -- Japan will lean on artificial intelligence to identify illegal items hidden in the growing tide of parcels being shipped to the country.

According to the Finance Ministry, it takes a customs officer about 10 seconds of studying an X-ray image to judge whether a package might contain narcotics or other contraband. But the AI system will cut that time down to an instant.

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