Japan PM faces resistance to replacement of health insurance cards with digital ID
The Japanese government’s troubled My Number digital ID program has done little to quell concerns about incidents of mishandled personal data, particularly those related to disability certificates.
The issue has sparked objections over to the planned replacement of health insurance cards next year with My Number IDs. Japanese doctors have taken the government to court to fight the mandatory replacement of health insurance cards, arguing it is expensive to implement.
Part of that unease arose when some residents discovered their ID cards linked to unrelated personal information. This has intensified pressure on Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who has suffered a decline in support according to Reuters.
In response to the controversy, Kishida has established a My Number information comprehensive inspection headquarters to examine the program and prevent similar errors.
Talking at a press conference Wednesday, the head of state said his government will improve program procedures and operations, including eligibility documentation.
Parliament has enacted a law June 2 effectively mandating My Number IDs to access health care as of fall 2024, the Japan Times reports. The IDs are already linked to tax and social security records, as well as some bank accounts.
“We will work on the complete abolition of the current health insurance cards on the premise that measures to dispel public anxiety will be completed,” Kishida said.
Despite the data security concerns, Kishida’s government has shown no intention of altering the schedule for phasing out health insurance cards.