Infrared Cameras at Tokyo’s Narita Airport Are Designed to Spot People With Fevers

At the arrival terminal of Tokyo’s Narita International Airport, right before the passport check-in desk, you’ll walk past a small station like this. It’s an infrared camera, a part of Japan’s ongoing war on germs, designed to spot people with fevers.

Narita Infrared Scanner

photo by Laszlo Thoth

Depending on how high your body temperature is they might pull you aside for some questions. Depending on your the answers to those questions the Narita doctors might just give you an aspirin and some pamphlets, or they might send you to the nearest hospital for some tests.

It might seem a little draconian, but the Japanese like having one of the world’s longest life expectancies with the help of one of the highest performing, lowest cost health care systems in the world. A big part of their system is information-gathering and prevention, keeping tabs on small health concerns before they become big concerns.