Tokyo’s Itabashi Ward on Friday became one of the first municipalities in the nation to start issuing the My Number identification card for social security and taxation services.
To promote the new system, the central government has secured funds for issuing up to 30 million My Number cards by March 2017.
Each card is embedded with an integrated circuit chip and bears the holder’s photo, name, address, sex and date of birth on the front and his or her 12-digit permanent ID number on the back.
The ID card is designed to simplify procedures for paying taxes and receiving pensions. In some municipalities, copies of residence certificates and other documents will even be obtainable at convenience stores by running the card through a card reader at the shops.
On Friday, 14 Itabashi municipal employees were eligible to receive their My Number cards. Distribution to residents will start in the latter half of next week.
The ward office has so far received My Number card applications from about 12,000 residents.
“Applications will probably increase further,” said Kunihiko Hoshino, an official at the Itabashi Municipal Government. “We’ll work with greater efficiency so as not to keep applicants waiting,” he said.
People who want the cards must fill in the application forms that were mailed to them last year with their My Number notification cards, and send them back to their municipal governments. Those who apply in early January will receive their My Number cards in late March, at the earliest.