What is MY NUMBER?

My Number is 12-digit number granted to people (including foreigners) who have a resident card in Japan. Principally, a number granted to you need to be used all your life long. Except in cases like you have a risk your card is illegally in unauthorized use by the third party, you cannot request an agency to change your granted number.

Why do you need to have My Number Card?

MY NUMBER is utilized to identify whether information existing in multiple institutions belongs to you.

 Social services such as resident register code, basic pension numbers, and health insurance number are managed by each independent institutions so there has been pretty wasteful communication so far across each institution to identify private information of applicants because applicants number they managed was different from each other.
For this solution, the Japanese government decided to introduce cross-cutting common number to integrate individual social information and to identify applicants swiftly especially about three specific fields of social security, tax, and anti-disaster measures.

The background of introduction of MY NUMBER

Effective management and identification of nations.

The primary objective of introduction of MY NUMBER is to simplify the management of identification of nations and solve any complex procedure gone through by applicants at a municipality. It is simply easy to identify people by allocating a unique number to people.

Identifying people with digital unique number allows the government to manage and integrate all sort of social identification numbers issued by the government agencies that provide unique social services. There is also one of the reasons that Japan adopted this system in the wake of “Social Security Number” which has widely penetrated in the United States society.

The opportunity to consider introduction of this system was pension records problem

Actually, the issue of adoption of MY NUMBER system had been discussed a couple of decades ago. The Japanese government had postponed in terms of privacy protection for a long time. The primary trigger that the Japanese government made a decision to adopt this system was that the pension records problem came to light before. Before introducing this system, nations’ private information was managed by separate government institutions or agencies that have jurisdiction over their own management territory. Finally, accidental omission and mistake of pension records happened, which found out some people rejected receiving pension although they had saved it up to an agency that dealt pension insurance on a regular basis.

Advantage of MY NUMBER

Simplification of procedure

A certain number code is allocated to each social service you receive from the Japanese Government.

  • new residency management system
  • resident card : resident registration number
  • pension: basic pension numbers
  • Health insurance : insurance numbers
  • tax: reference numbers

These numbers are issued by each public institutions that provide a social service. However, each institution’s unique issuance number made things more complicated and communication between each institution was too inflexible to cooperate with each other by the influence of vertical administration of the Japanese Government. For that reason, we couldn’t help feeling inconvenience in many cases like, in order to submit a document to a certain agency, we need to request another agency to issue another document on which we are required to attach by the first agency.

If you submit pension insurance exemption application to the pension office, obtaining firstly a necessary document at a municipality or public employment security office, you have needed to submit the main exemption application attached with the document you got from a pension office.

But after MY NUMBER system activated, all you need to do is to only submit pension insurance exemption application on which your MY NUMBER is written to pension office. Pension office developed the system to be able to confirm necessary information by sending signs which encrypt MY NUMBER to each institution.

You can receive private information from Government

Japanese Government manages an online service called “My NUMBER PORTAL”. You can receive information from the Japanese Government. Information you can check out through this online service is down below

Displaying private information

You can make sure your specific private information that a municipality possesses

Displaying communication log

You can make sure the record of exchanging your private information between Government and municipality

Displaying news

You can receive information about pension, Long-Term Care Health Facilities and vaccination

One stop service

Introduction of one stop system to simplify all sort of procedures on a life event like moving by cross-sectional cooperation between government and private

E-communication box

You can receive payment certificate and all sort of electronic data issued by public institutions and private companies

Electronic clearing service

It is a service that you can make a payment of tax and social insurance without cash

You can receive prompt and smooth support from the government

It is important to let us know accurate information about people who need help and to maintain a list of people who need help during a disaster.

By introduction of MY NUMBER, a municipality can confirm information about such as family structure, usage status of Long-Term Care Insurance and health insurance as needed, which comes to grasp the person’s physical conditions like chronic disease, physical disability and be able to easily make a list of people who needs help during a disaster.

Additionally, when providing support to disaster victim fund after a disaster, MY NUMBER helps make sure information of victim’s health condition and individual assets, which is basic information to decide how much government funds to victims.

Weak points of MY NUMBER system

Weak points of MY NUMBER is directly associated with the American Social Security Number. In other words, SSN defect will become MN defect.
In the United States, identity theft is rampant under the system of SSN.

For example, financial information is fertile ground for SSN fraud. Swindlers try to make credit card by taking advantage of stolen SSN. Going shopping with cheque and card, its invoice will be sent to the owner of SSN, in short, fraud victims. They realize causing fraud damage right after checking the invoice. “What? I bought a car? I don’t even have my driver’s license?” Most of them start doubting when finding a bill that they know nothing about.

Moreover, an impersonal income-tax return is an annual event every spring in the US. Swindlers go through address change procedure and receive refundable tax by betraying taxation office. Of course, the refundable tax will not be reached to the victim. Likewise, in case of pension, swindlers apply for pension insurance much earlier than victims do and receive a pension in place of victims. This is going to be a big damage.

Introduction of a social identification system in Japan is relatively late among advanced countries. The countries that have already adopted this system a couple of decades ago know their strengths and weaknesses thoroughly and emphasize the bad aspect of this system but this is a chance in some ways for Japan, which is that the Japanese government already has good reference that American SSN has made so far with both good examples and bad examples. These precedented risks will advise the Japanese Government to build countermeasure for frauds.

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