The Social Security and Tax Number System
- The Social Security and Tax Number (Individual Number) is a unique 12-digit number assigned to every resident of Japan.
- Note that certain application forms submitted to the Health Insurance Society require entry of the Social Security and Tax Number.
Adoption of the Social Security and Tax Number System
Under the Social Security and Tax Number System, every person registered on a certificate of residence will be assigned a 12-digit Individual Number (Social Security and Tax Number). This will make it possible to accurately and efficiently link information for individuals across the domains of social security, tax, and disaster response.
Purpose of adoption of the Social Security and Tax Number System
- Administrative efficiency
The system will greatly reduce the time and effort required by national administrative agencies, local governments, and other organizations for various activities, including checking, transferring, and entering various types of information. By better linking multiple operations, the system will eliminate task duplication and other inefficiencies.
- Realizing a fair and equitable society
The system will make it easier to ascertain income and benefits received from other administrative services. This, in turn, will help prevent cases of unjustified avoidance of burdens or inappropriate receipt of benefits, while providing comprehensive assistance to those who really need it.
- Improving convenience to the public
The system will simplify various administrative procedures and reduce the burden for the public—for example, by reducing the need to attach documents. The system will also allow members of the public to check the information concerning them held by administrative agencies and to receive notifications of and learn about various services such agencies can provide.
Social Security and Tax Number Card (Individual Number Card)
The Social Security and Tax Number Card is a plastic card with an embedded IC chip. The front indicates the bearer's name, address, date of birth, gender, and facial photograph. The rear indicates the bearer's Social Security and Tax Number.
This card can be used as an ID card and to access various services (e.g., local government services, e-Tax and other electronic filing systems using digital certificates).
To apply for issuance, contact your municipal government.
You can use your Individual Number Card as a health insurance card
The amended Health Insurance Act promulgated in May 2019 introduced a system that lets you use your Individual Number Card as a health insurance card (using online eligibility verification), starting in March 2021.
At medical care institutions and other facilities adopting online eligibility verification, you can use your Individual Number Card as a health insurance card to verify eligibility information such as the health insurance society providing coverage.
- * Note that you can continue using your current health insurance card. The system simply adds a health insurance card feature to the Social Security and Tax Number Card.
You must register on the Mynaportal site before using your Individual Number Card as your health insurance card. See here for more information.
◆About online eligibility verification
The online eligibility verification system uses the IC chip on the Individual Number Card or the health insurance card code/number, etc. to verify eligibility information.
- *Medical care institutions and other facilities do not handle patients’ (12-digit) Social Security and Tax Numbers directly. Instead, they use the IC chips on Individual Number Cards.
- *An Individual Number Card cannot be used as a health insurance card at medical care institutions and other facilities that have yet to adopt the online eligibility verification system.
Handling of Social Security and Tax Numbers and specific personal information
Social Security and Tax Numbers and personal information containing these numbers ( “specific personal information” hereinafter) may not be used for purposes other than those specified by law.
Restrictions apply to the use, provision, and collection of Social Security and Tax Numbers.
- Scope of use of Social Security and Tax Numbers
By law, use of the numbers is restricted to administrative procedures related to social security, tax, and disaster response.
- Requests to provide Social Security and Tax Numbers
The individuals concerned and others can only be asked to provide Social Security and Tax Numbers when this information is necessary to prepare documents for procedures involving social security and tax matters.
- Restrictions on requests to provide Social Security and Tax Numbers and on provision and collection of specific personal information
Requesting or collecting Social Security and Tax Numbers and specific personal information or providing this information to others is prohibited except in accordance with restrictions set forth under law.
The Health Insurance Society will handle Social Security and Tax Numbers as a Person in Charge of Affairs Using the Individual Number.
A Person in Charge of Affairs Using the Individual Number is a national administrative agency, a local government, an independent administrative agency, or other organization that uses Social Security and Tax Numbers in their processing of administrative procedures, as established in Appended Table 1 of the Act on the Use of Numbers to Identify a Specific Individual in the Administrative Procedure and relevant ordinances.
As a Person in Charge of Affairs Using the Individual Number, the Health Insurance Society will use Social Security and Tax Numbers solely within the scope of such administrative procedures.
Announcement of Specific Personal Information Protection Assessment
As part of efforts to protect personal information, the Social Security and Tax Number System requires Specific Personal Information Protection Assessments of implementing organizations. For these assessments, the organizations must estimate the potential consequences of leaks of specific personal information and other events on privacy and the other rights and interests of individuals; analyze the potential risk of the occurrence of such leaks and other events; and take appropriate measures to mitigate such risks. It also requires the organizations to declare the implementation of these tasks through assessment reports.