Japan's NEC Corp. will start the full-scale introduction of a vaccination certification system for COVID-19 based on facial recognition, eliminating any use of smartphone applications or documents, officials at the technology firm said Friday.

The company expects the system to be used at tourist sites and event venues and help alleviate congestion and reduce labor costs.

A hiker near Mt. Fuji uses a facial recognition system to confirm their vaccination status in November 2021. (Photo courtesy of NEC Corp.)(Kyodo)

Consenting users will need to register their vaccination history and submit a photo of their face to use the system, which will scan them with a camera at venue entrances and confirm their vaccination status within a few seconds.

The technology is 99.9 percent accurate even when the user is wearing a mask, according to NEC.

NEC said it conducted a trial use of the technology at areas near Mt. Fuji in November, showing it could cut processing times to one tenth and the number of required staff to one seventh.

The government is introducing a "vaccine and test package" to allow vaccinated individuals to go out freely and spur economic activities.

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