The government approved a set of bills Friday for protecting personal information, paving the way for them to clear the current Diet session, after making major revisions to avert criticism that the legislation would restrict freedom of the press.

The government-sponsored bills are intended to protect personal information when a new resident-numbering system takes effect in August. Although the national registry network was introduced last August on a trial basis, some municipalities have refused to join it because legislation to protect personal information is not in place.

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