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    Daily Yomiuri (Japan): National ID system eyed for 2015

    The Daily Yomiuri reports on a proposal for a national identification system in Japan.

    The government has announced plans for a comprehensive identification system to be implemented in 2015. The state has high hopes for the program, including improving social services and achieving equity in tax burdens, although privacy issues are a looming concern. […]

    The draft plan is the work of a preparatory study group of the panel, the Council for a Number System for Social Security and Taxation. Official go-ahead is expected to be given in a plenary session Monday, with a detailed plan, tentatively titled Outline for Social Security and Taxation Number System, to be finalized in June, according to government officials. […]

    The ID system would be wide-ranging, covering pension premiums and benefits, medical services, social security programs and tax returns. Each citizen would be covered by the system, as well as medium- and long-term foreign residents and those with permanent residency, according to the basic plan. Everybody will be given a unique number, likely based on the current resident register number.

    The system would store personal information such as name, date of birth, address, gender, annual income and number of dependents, the basic plan said. Registered corporate bodies, estimated at 2 million nationwide, would also be subject to the ID system. […]

    Probably the stickiest issue in implementing a nationwide ID system is ensuring personal information is properly protected. To ensure private data is safe, the draft plan calls for a third-party organization to monitor the system, and would give citizens a way to determine whether their personal data has been leaked, they said.

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