Japan steps up push to get public to sign up for digital IDs


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Some view the My Number effort as a violation of their right to privacy.

Yup, been saying this all along!

If this was coming from a trustworthy leadership and the economy was thriving, maybe we would think about it, but not now,” Fujimori said.

My opinion, going to snow in hell before there is a "thriving economy" and "trustworthy leadership" here in Japan!

5 ( +28 / -23 )

by telling a reluctant public they have to sign up for digital IDs or possibly lose access to their public health insurance.

ahh..... the good old 'ramp up the fear' gambit..... what unconscionable sh*ts these people are!

15 ( +27 / -12 )

Japanese traditionally take pride in meticulous, handcraft-quality workmanship and many also devote themselves to carefully keeping track of documents and neatly filing them away.

I love it!

1 ( +10 / -9 )

They already have passports, drivers licenses and tax numbers, why do they need more? Use what is already collected in a better more efficient way without demanding yet another identifier for the unscrupulous to exploit. For any adult with no passport, license or income/tax number then fine, for those people alone give them an ID card.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

Welcome to the 20th century...... oh hang on

-2 ( +14 / -16 )

Before my number cities had something called a "juki card" and "juki code" which was eventually replaced by "my number" due to low adoption. My prediction is come 2023 there will still be scores of people, especially elderly who do not have a my number card yet with the system being overloaded with applications (like it did during covid times when people could get their stimulus faster if they had a mynumber card) and the 2024 date will be scrapped.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Orwell would be proud, it's all going towards that 'future' but instead of a barcode, it will be a QR code, same thing really. Chona already there, leading the way.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

I got ¥20,000( via Pay Pay for putting my info on the MyNumber card.

Sankyu beri muchi!

-15 ( +2 / -17 )

Hopefully Japan has done something about updating their cybersecurity before making this mandatory. I’d hate to see this data accidentally thrown away on a floppy disc.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

Social credit is next.

Resist as if your life, liberty and privacy were at stake,

because they are.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

After numerous scandals over leaks and other mistakes, many Japanese distrust the government’s handling of data. They’re also wary about government overreach, partly a legacy of authoritarian regimes before and during World War II.

All very legitimate concerns and instead of offering benefits to the public for this adoption in the end it will be.

“You just have to do it,” Maeda said.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I tried for a second time last week to register my kokumin nenkin online account to my My Number number. FAIL! The site told me MN doesn’t support my OS, which is ChromeOS. The conventional log in, using password and ID, works fine.

So, what is the purpose of limiting NM’s usability, yet telling everyone they must use it?!?! Boggles the mind. I’ve had nothing but trouble with the number and its stupid IC card since getting it last year. Avoid it if you can.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Foreigners have to carry around an ID card ("gaijin card"), Japanese have an equivalent version too - though it's a different color.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

The question I have, about this consolidation of everything to the "My Number" cards, is, quite simply, can I walk into any Doctors Surgery now, and use that Card - has it been implemented everywhere ? And what information is available to the user of that card when I hand it over ?

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Patrick McGoohan got it right over 50 years ago in The Prisoner: "I'm not a number, I'm a free man!"

5 ( +9 / -4 )

I don't have a problem with it if it would increase efficiency. My every visit to city hall is a descent into bureaucratic purgatory with five people laboriously doing the work of one - and even that work is unnecessary. US SS numbers are only nine digits - about as long as a phone number - so are easily memorized. I'll occasionally need mine for tax filing or other financial undertakings but never need to show my card (don't think I even still have it). If ya wanna bin something unnecessary, get rid of family registration.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

I do not see the problem to have an id number and the card. However, this must be imposed and enforced legally. The technical issue is that it is not legal to impose the card. The upper court could dismiss the government proposal if some groups complain and there is not change of the law.

telling a reluctant public they have to sign up for digital IDs or possibly lose access to their public health insurance.

They must be all scared. Well, still two years

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I don’t have the physical My Number card because I never bothered and the only time I’ve ever been asked for it was sending money overseas via western union. Nothing in this article is new. Every legal resident in Japan has already been assigned a my number. The government has had everyone numbered since 2016 even if you never bothered to get the card like me. If you don’t have the physical card just go to the ward office and get a copy of your juminhyou and check the box telling them to put the number at the top. And people have been able to get the my number cards with the IC chip and photo from the day it rolled out in 2016 if they wanted to. So if ur worried the government has your data, they’ve already had it for for the past almost 7 years.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

"Japanese traditionally take pride in meticulous, handcraft-quality workmanship and many also devote themselves to carefully keeping track of documents and neatly filing them away" ???

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Digital is supposed to make life easy.

Just back from the Post Office. Sending a bunch of mail and some EMS.

Previously, I would handwrite the address on the package and stick some stamps on it and hand it over.

With EMS I have to first go online and log in. Then fill out a long form accurately.

Print three sheets and book a day at the PO.

Fill out some more forms and put the printed one in a plastic sleeve attached to the package.

Pay ¥3,900 to send a small EMS to New York.

Total time about 3 hours.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

TPTB are going to try to push something similar all over the

Globe, all good tyrants everywhere can't wait to have Digital

ID with all of our data on it. If the authorities decide that you're

not a good citizen, they can just turn off your digital life.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Japan is NOT alone, many countries don't even have a Social Security system or a number. Basically you work till you die, you are on your own all the way to your grave.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Kono talks of digitalazation, but not many places accept My Number card as a health insurance!

At my pharmacy, they don't even accept e-payments.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Mark of the beast, LOL,you are already being tracked with subway card,they know where you go an often , Google Japan Subway Card Tracking

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

quote: Something drastic may have to happen for people to accept such changes.

Be careful what you wish for. Governments are good at 'something drastic' - Brexit, energy sanctions, lockdowns etc.

There is nothing wrong with having a national ID system for stuff like healthcare and tax. What is concerning is mission creep. It is the infrastructure for the surveillance society. Once it kicks off, it can be enforced in more areas until everything you do, everything you buy and everywhere you are can be tracked 24/7.

Additionally, tech is less resilient than analogue, and governments are rubbish at tech. So although generally faster, when it falls over (and it will), everything stops.

I started writing software in the early 80s, so you'd think I'd be a supporter of all things digital. In fact I prefer to use cash where I can, use paper forms to pay my tax, listen to CDs and watch DVDs.

Ultimately, governments will just force us all to switch one way or another. Around the world, all governments are getting more Chinese every day, but on the sly. It's not the Russian, North Korean or Chinese governments who are going to mess with your life, it is always your own government that is going to do that.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

"Opponents of the change say the current system has been working for decades and going digital would require extra work at a time when the pandemic is still straining the medical system."

There are plenty of reasons to be against the change, but this is not one of them. One reason the medical system is under strain still is because of how antiquated it is and what was required to even get an appointment to begin with. Then doctors had to fax documents, stamp them, etc., and it took Japan more than a year to get where the rest of the world was and it is STILL behind in most respects.

You want a reason to be against it? How about when you hand your MyNumber card over to a medical practitioner you are also giving him your bank card and a whole lot of other unrelated, private info they do not need, but will have access to. You in a nursing home? Gone are the days when your nurses and doctors will just be holding a health card for you, they'll be holding everything else, including access to your pension, bank, and more.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Digital IDs serve no other purpose than to funnel us towards a Chinese-style social credit score system.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Digital is great until the system goes down during buisness and no on can get anything done thats the huge problem you think you have the best Highly available cluster systems that will forever keep running without any down time. Some time digital has its place.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

YrralToday  09:28 pm JST

Mark of the beast, LOL,you are already being tracked with subway card,they know where you go an often , Google Japan Subway Card Tracking

Wrong. Prepaid Suica and Pasmo cards are anonymous.

6 ( +6 / -0 )


Totally agree with you.

on the customer side, it was much easier to send an EMS and faster. We also must or are supposed to indicate each item with their numbers and respective side. For the post office, it is certainly much easier.

Using paper has still a lot of merit

3 ( +3 / -0 )

How is My Number associated with the use of fax machines and cash? They should not be linked.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I think this is the step just before everyone getting microchipped. Lol.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Gatto,if you use a bank debit card to purchase the card,your bank data is attached to the suica card

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

 The site told me MN doesn’t support my OS, which is ChromeOS. 

Have experienced this with a number of "Japanese" sites. It's frustrating to say the least and it's probably because the people who designed it thought that all Japanese were still using Explorer!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Digital ID today. Centralized digital currency tomorrow.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Get that card. Most arguments listed here for not getting one are totally ignorant.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

said Watanave, who spells his last name with a “v” instead of the usual “b."

Quality journalism.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why is this necessary? We haven’t had any problems up until now without it.

The COVID pandemic should have highlighted to everyone that even in so-called liberal democratic countries, governments simply cannot be trusted with ever-increasing controls and powers over our lives. I hope that the Japanese people continue to resist such schemes. No to this and no to attempts to move toward a cashless society.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't have my card yet but I'm uncomfortable with my number written on the card itself and having have to carry it around in lieu of my health insurance card. I think this will only give way to identity fraud, if my actual number is stolen. Also, I really don't want to carry both cards - the MyNumber card and the Zairyu card.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Governments around the world seem to be dead set on consolidating their control over their populations at the expense of individual liberty and personal privacy, under the banner of "keeping us safe". It is good, though, to see plenty of resistance because people simply don't trust the system or the people who are supposed to be running it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

all of foreigners living in Japan needs allien card with name,surname address and photo on it and legal status.

same thing never applies for japanese as even in 2022 they "did not invent" ID for themselves.

dont need to say a word extra at all.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

YrralToday  01:13 am JST

Gatto,if you use a bank debit card to purchase the card,your bank data is attached to the suica card

Nonsense, show me some evidence please.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

All non-citizens require a Residents Card. Citizens are not required to carry ID unless driving. All people require a Health Insurance card. I think many foreigners don't have health insurance. All residents have a "My Number" but only about 40% have the card. The data contained in the card is very limited.

Last night, for the first time, I logged into MY Number using a smartphone. A bit complicated including scanning the actual card and only in Japanese but it worked.

If the health insurance card becomes part of MY Number there will not be any centralized health data and will only have the details already provided by the health insurance card.

Without a health insurance card, you have to pay the full amount of treatment.

There are reasons to have a combined card. There are reasons not to.

The health insurance card is replaced every year. My Number card needs to be renewed every five years.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is just an excuse to implement digital IDs that can be linked to digital currency and social credit. People don't trust it because it's an obvious attempt to take more control over the population and remove their freedoms.

You can modernise the whole paper work process without implementing digital IDs.

The issue was never not having a centralised linked digital ID it was to do with outdated processes, double and often triple handling of documents and a general inability of managers and employees to be able to use technology.

This is just a power grab pure and simple, they implement this authoritarian system under the guise of fixing an issue that its not actually going to fix. I hope the entire population pushes back.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'd say to the Japanese, welcome to our world. As foreigners, our Zairyu cards which we already have to carry everywhere already have IC chips in them.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I can’t send money to my Yucho bank without this.

I applied for this and never heard anything back.

I asked about it at city hall and was ignored.

This my number BS is just a massive inconvenience.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

JTCOct. 25  06:16 pm JST

Foreigners have to carry around an ID card ("gaijin card"), Japanese have an equivalent version too - though it's a different color.

No Japanese person I know has such a card.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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