My Number IDs Linked to Wrong Bank Accounts

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Linkage mistakes involving My Number personal identification numbers and bank accounts for receiving public benefits have occurred in multiple local municipalities in Japan, the Digital Agency said Tuesday.

Eleven cases in which a person’s My Number ID was linked to a different person’s bank account have been confirmed in six municipalities, including the city of Fukushima, the agency said.

There has been no actual damage from the series of mislinkage cases since no payments of public benefits were made through mistakenly registered bank accounts, according to the agency.

Courtesy of the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry
An image of a My Number card

The agency said the errors occurred as local government staff carried out registration procedures for a person using the person’s account for a portal site for My Number identification card holders and then moved on to the next person without signing out.

The agency’s guidance calls on staff to check whether they signed out from a person’s My Number portal site account after completing procedures for the person, but staff failed to thoroughly comply with the rule.

“Theoretically speaking, this kind of mistake should never happen, but human errors are inevitable,” digital reform minister Taro Kono told a press conference. The government has started checking all registered bank account information to find any errors, he said.

Currently, each person needs to voluntarily register information on one bank account and My Number with the Digital Agency to link My Number with a bank account for receiving public benefits. About 53.72 million people had registered their bank accounts as of May 14.

In order to promote wider use of My Number cards, the central government provides points to people linking their bank accounts to their My Numbers. Local government staff have been helping with registration work.

The Diet is discussing a law revision to introduce a special measure to allow bank account information already known to public bodies for benefit payments to be registered with the Digital Agency if people do not disapprove of the move within a certain period.