“My Number” System – Points and Reminders

Nov 15, 2015

• The only (current) benefits of the plastic card are (a) that it is made of plastic, (b) can be used as a form of ID, (c) there is a plan to give some people a consumption tax refund if they have one, and (d) the IC chip in the card may be utilized for additional purposes in the future.

• However, there are concerns that using the “My Number” card as a form of personal ID will expose your individual number to anyone who sees it, as your unique identification number is written on the back. Imagine having your PIN number displayed on your credit card, and you can see the logic behind this concern.
• In addition, the “consumption tax refund plan” is currently considered to be “flawed”. (“Tax Rebates Flawed, Experts Say” – Japan Times)

• As for the usage of the IC chip: “Your card will also contain an electronic certificate that can be used for electronic filing for the online national tax return filing and tax payment system (e-Tax).” (Q3-2; My Number Official FAQ)

• There are plans to link your personal identification number with your bank account(s). While this is concerning, several banks have said that this will be an “opt-in” system.

• According to the official FAQ, you should also visit your local municipal office to verify your identification once you receive your paper “My Number” card. To quote: “As a rule, when you receive your Individual Number Card, you will be required to personally visit the appropriate service counter at your municipal office to have your identity confirmed. However, if you have difficulty travelling to the municipal office due to disease, disability, or other valid reason, you may have a person whom you have personally designated receive your card for you.”

• The question of how your employer is permitted to obtain your personal identification number (e.g. Are they allowed to directly ask you to write it down? Are they allowed to make a copy of your card? Etc.) is somewhat vague. The General Union will research this topic and, if we learn more, create an additional article about it as the information becomes available.

For more information, please refer to our previous “My Number” guide: “Everything You Need To Know About “My Number””

Keep smart, and keep safe.

If you have concerns about the “My Number” system, or someone at your company has inappropriately asked you for your personal identification number, talk to the General Union at:


Have some thoughts, comments, or opinions about this topic, or questions that we didn’t cover? Let us know about it on our official Facebook page at: