Japan seeks EU passenger name records as security measure



Japan plans to begin negotiations with the European Union to gain access to its passengers name records for flights bound for Japan as part of efforts to tighten security ahead of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, a government official said.

Currently, Japan receives passenger name records from major airlines across the world, but it has no access to EU member states’ records due to strict privacy protection rules.

The Japanese government aims to conclude a treaty with the European Union to enable it to receive passenger name records from the 28-member bloc and also strike a deal to allow both sides to transfer personal information to make the pact feasible, the official said.

Passenger name records contain names, nationalities, passport numbers and credit card data. Immigration officials check names against a blacklist to prevent the entry of suspicious individuals.

The European Union only allows countries and regions that pass its privacy protection criteria to access personal information from the region. Japan is not allowed to do so and as it has no accord with the bloc to receive passenger name records, it also lacks access to such data provided by European airlines.

The European Union basically bans the transfer of records of customer and employee names out of the region, even to subsidiaries of Japanese companies operating in Europe that have collected such data in Europe.

The envisioned pact to enable the transfer of personal information beyond borders could pave the way for businesses on both sides to utilize such data, the official said.


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