Japan follows it’s roots as a technological innovator and will begin to allow registered visitors to use their fingerprints as form of identification in lieu of their passport to check-in at hotels beginning March 2017.
As part of the pilot project 80 hotels and Japanese Guesthouses will enroll for this new method of registering their foreign guests.
To participate as a traveler you will first need to register yourself at a designated enrollment center with th original passport.
The Nikkei Asian Review (see here) which I follow daily had a piece about this today.
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.
I have never seen hotels actually take a copy of the passport in Japan or scanning it. At least not in the hotels with computerized check-in systems.
It’s still almost a year until this becomes available so we shall see where these registration centers are and how convenient the process is.
I go back to Japan about 5 times a year though I stay mainly in Tokyo and Osaka and never had the impression that it would be inconvenient to present my passport or resident card for check-in at a hotel as the Japanese are very efficient. Maybe I register just for fun and to report back how it went!