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The municipal assembly in the western Tokyo suburb of Kokubunji rejected on Friday three bills intended to enable the city to join the national resident registry network.

One of the bills was for an extra budget that included the cost of connecting to the system, one was to amend a city ordinance on protection of personal information and the third was to amend an ordinance on public service fees.

Mayor Nobuo Hoshino, who recently announced plans for Kokubunji to join the network, said he will exercise his power to urge the assembly to reconsider the bills.

The mayor has the power to execute the extra budget without the assembly’s approval after he submits a bill for reconsideration, but the assembly’s approval is necessary for amending ordinances. Participation in the network will be impossible without the amended ordinances.

Kokubunji refused to join the system when it was launched last August by the central government, because the city felt it posed risks of violation of privacy.

The system is intended to encode personal information on every resident of Japan, with an 11-digit number allotted to everyone registered.

Hoshino said last month he had decided Kokubunji should participate in the system following Diet enactment of privacy-protection bills.

He also said the Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications Ministry accepted a city proposal to strengthen security for personal information.

Kokubunji is one of the five municipalities nationwide that have refused to join the residency network. None of the other four have so far announced plans to join.

Following Friday’s vote, Hoshino said: “I think the assembly’s decision reflects the reservations about the system among the citizens. I will submit the bills for reconsideration, but I intend to fully discuss the matter with the assembly members.”

The four other municipalities refusing to join the network are Kunitachi in western Tokyo, Suginami and Nakano wards in Tokyo, and the town of Yamatsuri, Fukushima Prefecture.

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