Foreigners to start getting notices for new registry system

Kyodo

Foreign residents will start receiving government notices in May asking them to confirm their identities before the residence registration system for foreigners is merged with the national one in July, the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry said.

The notices will be sent to an estimated 2 million foreigners to request the confirmation of personal data, such as name, address, date of birth and nationality, the ministry said. This change is not to be confused with the new resident card system, also to be introduced in July. The old alien registration card system is being changed because the immigration control law was revised to hand over management of foreigners to the central government.

Since the current alien residence registration system will be scrapped, non-Japanese — including special permanent residents of Korean and Taiwanese descent and those staying in Japan for more than three months — will be shifted to the national residence registration system starting July 9.

Foreign residents are asked to contact the municipal or ward offices in the areas where they reside if they find errors in the personal information listed in the notice or if the notice fails to arrive.

Registering will allow local governments to issue “residence certificates” and is also expected to improve administrative services related to welfare and education.

The ministry can be consulted about the change to the residence registration system by telephone through the end of next March. For more information, call 0570-066630 between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on weekdays.