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Japan Decides to Introduce Social Security Numbers
Source: japantoday.com
Source Date: Friday, December 03, 2010
Focus: Information Access, E-Participation
Country: Japan
Created: Dec 07, 2010

The government decided Thursday to introduce a number system to comprehensively administer personal records on income, tax payments and pension payments and benefits, and aims to submit related bills to the Diet possibly next fall, government sources said.

The Democratic Party of Japan-led government is looking to lay out a broad outline on the number system next June and submit bills to the extraordinary parliamentary session expected to convene in the fall of 2011, the sources said.

The plan, which was one of the DPJ’s campaign promises for the 2009 House of Representatives election, will likely obtain final approval from a panel comprising members of the government and the ruling parties by the end of this month, the sources said.

But the plan is expected to take at least three to four years before actual implementation as it requires large-scale system development.

By introducing the system, the government would be able to efficiently manage a vast amount of personal data on income and taxation currently stored by several ministers and agencies.

The system would enable the government to determine individuals’ income more accurately and to pay pension benefits depending on the amount of premiums paid by a pensioner.

But experts have also pointed to the need to place strict controls on personal data to protect the privacy of taxpayers.

The government is thus planning to set up a third-party body in charge of privacy protection and toughen penalties under related laws.

It aims to establish a new government agency handling the collection of pension premiums and tax payments and decide on which existing ministry or agency will be in charge before the new agency is established.
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