MyNumber Card Debate

Mr. Kohno, Cabinet Minister for Digital Affairs

The Japanese government introduced a single ID system by the name of the “MyNumber” in 2015. Troubles began mounting when the government sought to expand the use of the MyNumber card to tax returns, and the health insurance cards. Unfortunately, the health insurance mechanism is already very complicated particularly for seniors. Anyone over the age of 65 must now show two cards, and there is an additional requirement of the “nursing care insurance” payments. On top of all this, the government MyNumber portal was poorly designed, as Android apps often did not work.

The public outcry became intense when it was discovered that more than 1,000 cases of the ID information were mixed up and it was possible to obtain others’ local resident certificates by error. Amazingly, the government explained that the cause of this error was local government staff who manually input erroneous ID information. It is even suggested that they may have used Excel for this purpose. If this is true, one should expect a nightmare sceniro where some of the local staff may actually copy and illegally sell the residents ID information to third parteis. With that, anyone can obtain a passport or drivers license masquerading as anyone else in Japan.