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  6. Verification and Future Development of the My Number System
    —A Study on "My Number Households"—

Verification and Future Development of the My Number System
—A Study on "My Number Households"—

Toshihiro Enami, Senior Fellow
January 2019


The Japanese individual number system which had already taken some twists and turns finally began to move forward with the introduction of My Numbers. All the originally planned functionality of the My Number system, such as information sharing, has entered into operation, and in October 2018 the My Number Act has been enforced for three years. The supplementary provisions of the law stipulate that the My Number system is to be reviewed after three years, and this study seeks to verify the My Number system from a private sector viewpoint to support the government's review with recommendations on its future development.

First, public opinion trends were analyzed using article headlines of five national newspapers, and the Basic Resident Registry Network ‘Juki Net’ was compared to My Number. Whereas many disapproved of the individual number system itself when Juki Net was introduced, by the time My Number emerged, the tide of the press coverage had shifted towards pointing out operational issues. While basically approving of the individual number system, public opinion now requested that the government ensure secure operation. It can be said that My Number is gradually becoming accepted by society.

Although local governments started using My Number, it is still often not filled in on official documents. Government officials are not yet used to using My Number and a fundamental rationalization of these procedures has not been achieved. Excessive regulation and difficulties in using the information provision network system have been pointed out. These issues need to be improved in the future.

To this end, propositions on usage and the overarching design of My Number concerning data maintenance, as well as the concept of "My Number Households" and the way it should be rolled out, are presented here in order to achieve a fairer and more just society, which is central in the future development of the My Number system.

Based on the above, the following policy recommendations are proposed regarding the review of the My Number system and its future development:

  • Ease excessive regulations on specific personal information that will be a burden on office work and reduce special administrative burdens when handling My Number data.
  • Revise information network systems that are hard to use and make their design simple and intuitive.
  • Enter My Number consistently in documents for administrative procedures, expand My Number to automobile and light automobile registration as well as land and real-estate registration, and work towards information sharing between local governments.
  • Show concretely how to realize a fairer and more just society in the future with the help of My Number. "My Number Households" are proposed as one possible solution to achieve this.
  • Review the feasibility of the new social system assuming that there is an individual number system.
  • Analyze how to use My Number for data maintenance, the overarching design of the My Number system and specific methods for its further development.

The full version of this report is available in PDF format below. This report is only available in Japanese.
Verification and Future Development of the My Number System —A Study on "My Number Households"—