Japan to develop AI system to fight smuggling

Japan's Finance Ministry has drawn up a plan to use artificial intelligence and other advanced technology to detect smuggling during customs inspection.

Increasingly sophisticated methods are being used to smuggle illegal drugs and fake brand products at a time when cross-border online shopping has driven up the volume of small cargo passing through ports of entries.

The ministry aims to develop the AI-based system over the next 10 years or so. The system will analyze cargo based on X-ray images and automatically detect contraband such as illegal drugs.

The ministry also intends to launch a device that uncovers narcotics stashed inside the body using radio waves.

The plan also includes raising the number of unmanned electronic customs declaration gates at airports and the introduction of a 24-hour AI-based consultation service on customs procedures.

The Finance Ministry says it aims to secure necessary budgets in the next fiscal year and later.