The Asian Workshop on Passport Policy
Tokyo, November 26-27, 2003
- The Asian Workshop on Passport Policy was held on November 26 and 27, 2003 in Tokyo, with the attendance of representatives from the passport issuing and immigration authorities of Brunei Darussalam, People's Republic of China, Republic of Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Republic of the Philippines, Republic of Singapore, Kingdom of Thailand and Japan. During this Workshop, the participants discussed primarily the security of travel documents, which has been increasingly drawing attention in the international community since the terrorists' attacks on September 11, 2001 in the United States. Notably, there was a brisk discussion on incorporating biometrics into the travel documents, which has emerged as an issue at various international conferences.
- During the Workshop, there were discussions on such problems as counterfeit, illegal use, fraudulent acquisition and loss or theft of travel documents and on respective countermeasures. Each country delivered presentation and exchanged opinions on anti-forgery measures and security features equipped on the travel documents of each country. The participants unanimously stressed the importance of improving the security measures against criminal use of the travel documents, as well as further strengthening the issuance control of the travel documents, in order to contribute to enhance international travel security.
- With regard to the application of biometric technologies in the travel documents, the recent development at international fora including ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) was introduced. Furthermore, the participants exchanged their respective views on biometric passports. All the participants have shared the following views:
(1) Biometric technologies are important methods to enhance the security of the travel documents, and the introduction of biometrics could be of great help in the fight against international terrorism and illegal immigration.
(2) It is essential to ensure the global inter-operability in order to effectively utilize biometric passports. In this respect, the current undertaking by ICAO to establish the international standard should be upheld.
(3) The participants find it opportune and important to make efforts to introduce biometric passports in Asian countries.
- The participants have shared the view that they would further strengthen the exchange of views and the cooperation on policy and measures concerning passport related matters.
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