December 02, 2019: Koror, Palau— On November 13, Japanese company Sojitz Corporation invited key members of the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) to Japan to meet with representatives from Japan’s NEC company, a global leader in technological advances, to explore options through which MOJ can augment its efforts to keep Palau safe at the border and in the streets.
At the meeting with NEC, the representatives of MOJ were able to articulate Palau’s need for biometric authentication for the Division of Immigration and facial recognition for the Bureau of Public Safety in city surveillance efforts.
On November 27, as a result of the meeting, representatives of NEC met with Vice President and Minister Raynold B. Oilouch to present a proposal that was specifically tailored to meet Palau’s current challenges in border protection and public safety.
The first part of the proposal is to provide Palau with biometric authentication hardware and software for the Division of Immigration. These will allow the Division of Immigration to authenticate arriving passengers with speed and accuracy. More importantly, in line with efforts to keep undesirable aliens from entering Palau, the new tools will enable the Division of Immigration to validate passengers against internal and external law enforcement databases.
The second part of the proposal is to provide the Bureau of Public Safety with cameras and facial recognition software to add to the CCTV equipment that are already scheduled to be constructed in the coming weeks. In an attempt to build capacity to effectively protect and serve with the givenchallenges in manpower and funding, MOJ received a grant from the Republic of China (Taiwan) to erect CCTV cameras on “hotspot” locations, primarily in Koror and Airai to aid in surveillance and investigations. Acquiring the new facial recognition tools from NEC will enable BPS to further increase effectiveness and efficiency in monitoring designated locations. Among other capabilities, the new tools will be able to automate monitoring and provide alerts when persons of interest are detected. This will decrease the need for manual monitoring which would be done by officers.
NEC’s biometric authentication technology have been consecutively ranked no. 1 around the world in speed and accuracy and are used around the world including in the US.
Sojitz Co. will work with MOJ to seek funding for the new law enforcement tools from NEC. Through a JICA grant, Sojitz Co. was able to inquire interests from nations in the Micronesian region in acquiring biometric-authentication technology. Thanks to Palau’s Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Industries & Commerce (MPIIC), the opportunity was extended to MOJ for immigration and public safety.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Ministry of Justice at 488-3198.