The controversial Common Identification System will be applied in October. An initiative to put a number on every individual began in 1968 here in Japan and the Residents’ Registration Networking System was introduced in 2002. Now starts a common identification scheme. Too many problems are left unresolved at the moment. Its introduction must be postponed to avoid confusion at the initial stage.
INTRODUCTION SHOULD BE POSTPONED TO AVOID TROUBLES
Identification Number sent by Certified Postal
The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications calls the scheme ‘My Number’ system. Every registered individual, both Japanese and foreigners living here, will have an identification number, My Number. An Announcement Card for each person will be delivered to his/her family in a set from the municipal office with certified mail, which will start from October 5. Households count 54 million.
The government spends as much as 26.7 billion Yen in the delivery. Sometimes people are absent from home. An actual address and the registered address may differ due to changing residence. Those who flee from DV (=domestic violence) may be affected if the identification number is sent to their offenders, unless a procedure is taken to change the addressee.
Students living away from hometown may not register their address. Parents must send the identification code to their sons and daughters. They may send it by usual mail. Mailboxes of private houses are not safe. A theft may occur. If the number is stolen, somebody may disguise other identity. Personal data may leak, or wrong bank remittance will be made. In particular, the number of 54 million households is enormous for postmen to deliver. They are short in number today. Confusion is anticipated.
Identification Number is Unnecessary
The government has already put a 12-digit numerical code to each individual and a 13-digit to each business entity and organization. Even if a person refuses to accept his/her number, nothing will change in a certain sense.
Meanwhile, those who want to possess his/her code, they will get a Code Card at his/her municipal office from January, 2016. The identification system works not on the obligatory basis but on the voluntary application basis. Therefore it is advisable not to apply for a Code Card as it may produce risks of identity deception and information leakage. The Common Identification Number is to be used for procedures of taxation and social services at first. There will be no inconvenience even though he/she does not possess a Code Card. An Announcement Card will be enough.
As for an employee of corporation, for a purpose of taxation, he/she must inform Identification Numbers of family members to the company’s personnel section or to a person in charge of payment of salary. He/she may not be penalized, if he/she does not write down the numbers on the document (though the National Taxation Agency recommends filling blanks of the documents for presentation as procedures are ser forth by laws as obligations).
Government Already Began Using
At the moment the National Identification System has not yet begun. But the government has already submitted bills to expand its application, for instance, using it in the bank accounts, in order to approve in the current Diet session. The bills passed the House of Representatives and are put under debates in the House of Councilors. The Abe administration is intended to integrate all ID cards, such as a certificate of employee, a credit card, a bank card and a health care certificate, into a singe ‘one card’ system.
What will happen if an identification number is used without limit in both of the public and private domains? A single numerical code will tell his/her basic data, like name and date of birth, as well as private property, health situation, ideological trend, hobbies and others. What will happen if the data leak, as is happened recently in the pension program? A horrible situation is anticipated.
September 1, 2015