The Noda government attempts to introduce a national identification number system, the so-called My Number scheme, in combination with a plan to raise the consumption tax rate. Three relevant bills will be discussed for approval in the Diet. The government's initial pledge 'to improve social services' has gone away though it had emphasized during the bill's compilation stage. Instead, another aspect is prominent - a role to watch and control people, including a police search for criminal cases.
DON'T PUT PEOPLE UNDER STATE'S SURVEILLANCE! SCRAP THE BILLS!
The New Socialist Party (NSP) has maintained firmly against the government's policy to introduce a national identification code system, criticizing the catchwords, 'right aids for vulnerable people' - an excuse to deceive people. The NSP's claim has been proven to be a fact. The controversial scheme bases on the Basic Resident Registration Network (=Juki Net) and the relevant bills are to legalize an integrated national system to identify citizens living in the country.
The government has repeated that low-income people would be affected harshly by the higher consumption tax rate and, therefore, that a balance could be achieved between a burden and benefit by the ID system. However, when looking into content of the bills, the assertion is proven a lie. As a proverb says, a real intention is hidden under the dress.
In Favor of Government
The government used to say that the ID code was designed to represent a viewpoint of people who are sovereignty of the state. But the Bill No.1 (on Purposes) enables the government offices to control individuals and business entities more efficiently and exchange information more swiftly among the institutions, taking advantage of ID data.
The government explains, firstly, the code system facilitates the authorities to administer efficiently to enhance functions and, secondly, that it will cut administrative costs by the simplified procedure and give an easy access to individuals to obtain necessary data. In fact, however, the ID system helps governing bodies more than it represents the sovereign right of people.
'Simplification' will be made, but have disappeared all the initial policies: 'to improve the social service system so as to contribute to needy people', 'to build up a basic social foundation to sustain people's life', 'to protect the rights of people and establish a society in which people would control over personal data' and 'to defends the rights and interests of individuals'.
An Excuse in the Name of Public Interests
Instead of the vanished good reason, has emerged an enhanced role of surveillance and control of people, for instance, a law to assist a police investigation of a criminal case. Under Articles of 17-1, items from No.10 to No.13 could be applied to police searches for crimes, trials at the courts, irregularities in tax payment and other necessities relevant to public benefit set forth by the ordinances. In the name of 'public interests' the law could be applied indefinitely.
Let's look into the articles to help the police authority to search a criminal case. The would-be law excludes the role awarded to an independent organization, Personal Information Protection Committee, and gains a security-related element, a topic that was never put on agenda during the compilation of the bills. The real purpose of legislation on My Number scheme reveals itself at this moment.
Bureaucrats of the finance and police sectors have spent over 40 years to let their wish and ambition be achieved, implementation of national ID number system. They foresee the Diet's approval of the zealous hope.
Where Are the Advocates?
In 1999 the so-called Juki-Net Act passed the Diet, under which every citizen is coded in the eleven-digit number. It was legislated after revising the Basic Resident Registration Act. Some political leaders listed their names in the Parliamentary Association of Protection of Privacy, asserting that they would risk a life in the struggles to resist the violent drive of the then-ruling Liberal Democratic Party, Liberal Party and Komei-to Party. Where are they now? They hold important ranks in the government and serve as municipal leaders, governors and mayors, who promote the ID number system.
A clear opposition is kept by legislators of the Social-Democratic Party and the Communist Party, but the number is too small to present a counter-measure. The situation is grave.
However, the bills must be prevented from passing the Diet. It is urgently needed to organize residents in the rallies and lectures to work upon Diet members representing local communities.
March 27, 2012