The Japanese government plans to use My Number social security and taxation identification cards to track the evacuation status of disaster victims, the Digital Agency said Tuesday.

"We want to facilitate the response of local governments and residents in the event of a disaster," digital transformation minister Taro Kono said during a news conference.

In response to the Jan. 1 powerful earthquake in the Noto Peninsula in central Japan, some 12,000 Suica transit IC cards were distributed to affected residents.

The IC cards allowed holders to register their names and addresses by scanning the cards at reader terminals, helping local governments track the usage status of evacuation centers.

The cards also eliminated the need for victims to repeatedly write down their names and other information when using bathing facilities.

The agency aims to utilize the My Number cards in a similar way. It also plans to use the cards in helping manage and distribute relief supplies in an efficient way in the future.

As the first step, the agency will encourage people to carry their My Number cards regularly, while preparing about 20,000 spare cards for those who do not have their My Number cards during disasters. It will also prepare some 350 card readers for use at evacuation centers.

The agency will also create a system to send private-sector digital experts to areas hit by a large-scale disaster to help local municipalities.