The Social Security and Tax Number System

POINT
  • 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 Association 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

  1. 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.
  2. Realizing a fair and equitable association
    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.
  3. 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.

Reference

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.
Once this system is fully operational, plans call for you to be able to use your Social Security and Tax Number Card (Individual Number Card) as a health insurance card to verify various eligibility information -for example, the health insurer providing coverage- at medical care institutions and other facilities adopting the online eligibility verification system.

  • * 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.

Using your Individual Number Card as your health insurance card (Mynaportal)

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Reference link
Reference link

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.

System of online eligibility verification
  • * 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.

Advantages:

If you start employment, change jobs, or move to a new address, you can use your Individual Number Card as your health insurance card for examinations and treatment, without waiting for a new health insurance card. (You are still required to apply for membership to a health insurance association.)

Future Mynaportal refinements will make it even more convenient to use, allowing you to view your own specified health diagnosis information, prescription information, and medical care cost information and automatically enter the medical care cost information required to claim medical expenses deductions on your income tax return.

Schedule for linkage to Individual Number Card

Aug 7, 2020 The Mynaportal site begins accepting applications for advance registration.
March 2021 Trial operation of the online eligibility verification system begins.
(By no later than October 2021) The online eligibility verification system will in due course become fully operational.
Medical care institutions, pharmacies, and other facilities will gradually begin accepting your Individual Number Card as a health insurance card. (You will no longer need to submit a Certificate of Application of Maximum Copayment Amount; however, you will still need to submit documents such as when receiving medical assistance from your local government.)
You will be able to view information on your specified health diagnosis on the Mynaportal site.
October 2021 (planned) You will be able to view information on your prescriptions on the Mynaportal site.
November 2021 (planned) You will be able to view your medical care cost information on the Mynaportal site.
Final income tax return for 2021 (planned) When claiming medical expenses deductions on your income tax return, you will be able to have medical care cost information entered automatically through the Mynaportal site.
  • * The time at which you can begin to use your Individual Number Card as a health insurance card will vary depending on the medical care institution or pharmacy. Plans call for posting information on medical care institutions and pharmacies where you can use your Individual Number Card on the websites of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and Health Insurance Claims Review & Reimbursement Services.

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 Association 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 Association will use Social Security and Tax Numbers solely within the scope of such administrative procedures.