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Individual Number ("My Number") System Set to Commence!

Lilly is employed by a Japanese company. After finishing work one day, she strikes up a conversation with a colleague, Haruko.

Individual Number ("My Number") System Set to Commence!

Lilly

Haruko-san, what is this "my number" thing that we are hearing so much about recently?

Haruko

The Individual Number System (commonly known as the "My Number System") is a new Social Security and Tax Number System that is about to be introduced. Under it, all individuals who possess a resident's card will be issued with a unique 12-digit number.

Lilly

Does this development also impact people like me who happen to be foreign residents?

Haruko

Yes, it does. It affects foreign residents who have been issued with a resident’s card here in Japan. In other words, foreign nationals who are medium to long-term residents of the country and individuals who are recognized as special permanent residents will also be issued with a unique number under the My Number System.

Lilly

And what about the My Number System? Why is it being introduced in the first place?

Haruko

Using the My Number System, by issuing a unique number to each individual, it will become possible to more effectively manage information, and various government agencies possessing disparate pieces of personal information about individuals shall be able to confirm that such information “concerns the same individual”.

Lilly

And what merits are there in this idea?

Haruko

With the My Number System, various government agencies and public institutions will be able to refer to and provide among themselves a range of personal information that is required when completing a variety of administrative procedures. If this occurs, greater administrative efficiency will be achieved by reducing the time and labor required to complete such tasks. For people like you and me, there will be the merit of easier procedures because we won’t have to go through the hassle of attaching required supporting documentation when making applications and declarations.

Lilly

That sounds great!

Lily then asks about when and how she can find out about her own "My Number".

Haruko

Notifications for the My Number System will commence from October of this year. Using simple registered post, individuals will receive a “Notification Card” with their My Number indicated. This will be delivered to the address listed on their resident’s card. After receiving this notification, if you apply by either post or online, you will be able to pick up a “My Number Card” from your local municipality starting from January of next year. These IC cards will feature a portrait photo of the card holder, and they will also be able to be used as a formal means of identification.

Lilly

When can we actually start utilizing the My Number System?

Haruko

From January of next year. As time passes, it will become necessary to use your My Number when carrying out administrative procedures with respect to social security, taxation and disaster-preparedness matters, etc.

Lilly

More specifically, under what circumstances will using My Number be necessary?

Haruko

Firstly, you will need to notify your employer about your My Number. This is because it will become necessary for it to be indicated on tax certificates. Furthermore, for the carrying out of taxation procedures, it will be necessary to notify both stock brokerages and insurance firms. You will also have to declare your My Number at pension offices when drawing a pension and at local municipalities when seeking to receive welfare benefits. There is also…

Lilly

It seems there will be a number of situations in which using My Number will become necessary! I can appreciate just how valuable it will become.

Haruko

Yes, that is the case. Thus, you will have to take steps to ensure that you don’t indiscriminately divulge your My Number to other people. If you want to know more about the My Number System, I would recommend you contact the especially-established call center, where they are also able to respond to foreign-language enquiries.

Lilly

Thanks a lot. I will.
■My Number Call Center (Common Nationwide Navigation Dial Service. Phone call charges apply)
0570-20-0178 (Japanese)
0570-20-0291 (English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Portuguese)
(Until September 30th, 2015)
Weekdays: 9:30~17:30
(From October 1st, 2015 ~March 31st, 2016) (Excluding end of year/start of year break)
Weekdays: 9:30~ 20:00
Saturdays, Sundays, Public Holidays: 9:30~17:30

My Number System
http://www.cas.go.jp/jp/seisaku/bangoseido/english.html
For Foreigners Registered as Residents in Japan (information available in 26 languages)
http://www.cas.go.jp/jp/seisaku/bangoseido/otherlanguages.html