Experts have voiced concerns about the Finance Ministry's plan to use the upcoming My Number identity system to provide consumers with refunds on certain items and thereby soften the blow when the consumption tax is hiked to 10 percent from 8 percent in April 2017.

My Number cards will be distributed to all residents in Japan from January upon application. They will carry a 12-digit number and will identify the holder by name, address and date of birth.

The system is aimed at streamlining tax collection and the administration of social welfare benefits.