Tokyo - Japan has introduced an automatic facial recognition system for foreigners entering the country as part of anti-terrorism measures in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, the government said.

Immigration authorities will carry out face checks at 156 ports and airports throughout Japan for all foreigners except children under the age of 16, diplomats and specially permitted permanent residents, an immigration bureau official said.

The new system compares the facial images of foreign nationals with those of suspected terrorists. If the images match and those in question are determined to be terrorists, they would face measures including deportation, the bureau said.

Since November 2007, all foreigners aged 16 or older are in principle required to be photographed and submit their fingerprints at immigration gates, according to the Kyodo News agency.