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Japan bans facial recognition tech exports due to China's human rights abuses

Tokyo signals intention to work with US and other allies on future export restrictions

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A Chinese national flag and security camera at the Urumqi No. 3 Detention Center in China's Xinjiang. 

A Chinese national flag and security camera at the Urumqi No. 3 Detention Center in China's Xinjiang.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Japan’s government will place export controls on artificial intelligence-powered facial recognition devices and cameras to prevent the technology from being used to surveil and persecute minorities in China.

There has been growing concern from a number of countries about China’s human rights abuses and ongoing repression of the Uyghurs and other groups, according to a CNA report. China has been using AI and other advanced technologies to deploy large-scale surveillance systems and control the movement of peoples in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and other areas.

Tokyo has deemed the new measures necessary to prevent technologies from being used in this way. With this goal in mind, the Japanese government said it will continue to cooperate with the U.S. and other like-minded countries to roll out further regulations going forward.