Survey of Japanese Teenagers Finds Most Are Registered for My Number CardsPolitics Society
Japan’s My Number ID card system continues to be beset by a series of problems, including wrongly issued documents, point rewards being allocated to other people, and incorrect linking of health information.
In mid-July 2023, the Nippon Foundation asked 1,000 young people aged 17 to 19 years old for their opinions of the My Number system.
Some 78.5% of respondents had either obtained or were in the process of obtaining a My Number card. Of those, there was an almost even split between the 41.5% who had applied by themselves, and the 37.0% for whom parents had applied on their behalf.
Respondents who had a My Number card were asked to give up to three reasons why they had obtained it. At 64.1%, by far the most common reason was because they “can receive My Number point rewards.” This was followed by 49.2% who said it “can be used as ID” and 28.2% who got one because it was “recommended by a family member.”
In contrast, at 39.9%, the main reason why respondents had not obtained a My Number Card was because they had “concerns about safety and how personal information is handled.” Other top reasons given included that the “registration process is a hassle” and “it doesn’t affect my life if I don’t have one.”
Respondents were also asked if they knew about the various reported problems like incorrect linking of health information on the My Number cards. Of the 70.8% who did know, 57% in total held the opinion that the government response to these issues was either “somewhat inadequate” or “inadequate.” This was significantly higher than the 18.1% who felt the response was “somewhat adequate” or “adequate.”
A number of respondents had future expectations for the My Number cards, including 33.5% who hoped it “could be used as student ID,” 29.0% who wanted it to “become an app that could be installed and used on all types of smartphone,” and 26.8% who thought it “could be used as a driver’s license.” However, this was dampened by the 31.8% who “don’t expect much at all.”
(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)