【Aging, safety net and fiscal crisis in Japan】No.171: The number of My Number Cards issued is far below government goals

In this column series, Yukihiro Matsuyama, Research Director at CIGS introduces the latest information about aging, safety net and fiscal crisis in Japan with data of international comparison.

The government has operated the My Number System since January 2016. According to informational material issued by the My Number Promotion Office, [My Number System --- Basic Outlines and Future Plans ---], the system is "social infrastructure to improve administrative efficiency, enhance public convenience, and realize a fairer and more just society."

Based on the My Number System, all citizens have a personal number. The government has asked the citizens to apply for the issue of a My Number Card to enhance the use of My Number and achieve the above purpose of the system. The government expected that the number of cards issued would be 60 million in March 2018, but the actual number was 13,672,762, which means that the penetration rate is 10.7% (Figure 1).

One of the reasons many people do not apply for My Number Card issuance is that there are few opportunities to use My Number in daily life, and they do not feel the improvement in convenience. Therefore, the government announced a policy to unite the My Number and health insurance cards in 2020.

Figure 1: Government goal and actual in My Number Card issuance

Source: Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

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