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In a move aimed at beefing up protection of personal information, the Diet enacted an amendment Wednesday to the residential registry law that puts limits on applications by third parties for registry copies.

The revised law limits copy applications by third parties — or people other than the registered party and members of the same household — to those with “legitimate reasons,” including lawyers building a case or financial institutions seeking to collect on a debt.

Violators will face a fine of up to 300,000 yen.

The amendment also stipulates that copy issuers must thoroughly examine and confirm the identification of applicants — a provision aimed at curbing the increasing problem of people pretending to be the registrants and obtaining copies for such purposes as getting driver’s licenses.

The revised Basic Residents Registry Law cleared the House of Councilors following earlier approval by the House of Representatives. It will be implemented within a year of its promulgation.

Under the current law, almost anyone can apply for and receive copies of residential registry information, which is kept by local governments. The registry books contain an individual’s name, address, gender, date of birth and other personal information.

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