Policy affairs chiefs from the ruling coalition and New Komeito agreed Friday to work on new legislation to protect individual information, clearing the way for passage of a citizen-numbering system, party officials said.
The agreement paves the way for a bill that would allow revision of the current resident register law so that a number can be assigned to each person living in Japan.
Officials of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner, the Liberal Party, agreed to set up a panel during the current Diet session that will discuss issues related to the proposed law, and aim to have it enacted within the next three years.
The numbering bill is being pushed to help streamline official procedures related to resident registration, and could be passed by the Lower House as early as next week.
Friday’s agreement comes after the LDP and New Komeito agreed the previous day to implement the numbering system only on condition that a law to protect individual information is enacted.
The numbering system proposes that each person be assigned a 10-digit number that would be presented along with the individual’s name, date of birth, gender and address when registering at municipal offices.
All municipalities across the nation would share the database through a computer network.
The reform would enable people to receive copies of their resident registrations — an important official document — at locations other than their own municipal government offices. This will help simplify registration procedures for those moving to or leaving a city, town or village.
The new number-based register system would also be used to update passport information and for numerous other clerical purposes, according to government sources.
The main opposition Democratic Party of Japan, the Japanese Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party oppose the system, saying they doubt that individual privacy will be fully protected under the system.