Japan airports introduce random pat-downs to deter terrorism
The Japanese transport ministry instituted random frisking of aircraft passengers at 30 airports across the country.
Tokyo: The Japanese transport ministry on Monday instituted random frisking of aircraft passengers at 30 airports across the country that serve international flights to deter terrorist attacks involving materials such as explosives that cannot be picked up by metal detectors.
The move by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism came as the International Civil Aviation Organization is recommending body searches due to the increasing number of terrorist attempts to smuggle nonmetallic explosives aboard airplanes.
Japanese airports have yet to introduce body scanners that are available at some airports overseas due to the high costs of such equipment and for fear of privacy infringement.
The introduction of pat-downs met with a mixed response from travelers at Narita international airport near Tokyo.
"It`s not so pleasant to have your body touched," said Chisato Hamaguchi, a 71-year-old Chiba Prefecture citizen heading for Thailand.
"We have no choice but to go along with this because it would be too late after something happens," said a 61-year-old company executive from Nagano Prefecture on his way to Myanmar.