Japan to scrap current non-digital health insurance cards in 2024

Japan to scrap current non-digital health insurance cards in 2024



The Residents Card will never be part of the My Number card. My Number is from the local government office. The Residents Card which only applies to non-Japanese is issued by the Tokyo Immigration Office.

Err…They announced this week that they are (unsurprisingly) actually working on exactly that.



My take is that the J-gov is in panic mode as in 2025 would the first cards issued (to early adopters) need to be physically renewed. 2025 is also around the time that more recently issued card (issued following the MN-point scheme) would need to have their e-certification renewed.


.early adopters were overwhelmingly elderly people who, we can only assume, were afraid they wouldn’t get their pension payments without the card (this is not the case, of course). Problem being that, well, elderly people have a shorter remaining life expectancy and we can only assume that over 10 years a non-negligible number of them passed away or have other ailments (e.g. Alzheimer or require hospitalization / support and could not deal with MN by themselves)

.recent adopters overwhelmingly registered for the MN-card for the points and times again, measuring useage showed that the cards are not being used. This meaning that, without any financial incentive (i.e. MN-points), these users are not going to re-certify their cards after 5 years and even less re-new their physical cards after 10 years).

Long story short: 2025 is crunch-time, as the J-gov is rolling out figures of how many cards have been issued (see below link), but carefully avoiding to even remotely hint as to how many of these cards are actually “valid” (i.e. have their e-certification up-to-date or their holders actually still being…err, “alive”) with my take being that millions of these cards not being valid and ready to drop off the list in a series of “waves (first the early adopters, then the first recent MN-point adopters, then the second recent MN-point adopters, etc).


The J-gov is hellbent on shoving MN down the population’s throat while cutting corners wherever possible. Just have a look at Tokyo Shimbun which has followed for years the troubles, failures and hickups of the scheme.


Also, the last 2-3 years, has the J-gov been trumpeting MN as a “key” to digitalize the country. It couldn’t be further away from that.

To do everything with MN (or even remotely close so) of what the J-gov alludes to, you first need to digitalize the country before devising a MN-like system to leverage from digitalization (of course!). But Japan does exactly the reverse: implement MN first, hoping it will somehow magically digitalize the country…which of course is complete nonsense.

But again, even if Japan did things in the right order, one just need to look at the below article to see that Japan is not even remotely digitalized enough to achieve anything on that front.


MN is an ill-timed, pretty much useless (in its current form) and ultimately pointless scheme (it simply can’t succeed in any way), marred with security issues (remember all these “corners being cut”?) doubling as a money pit (when counting all the costs in its prior iteration that was the Juki-system which started 20 years ago up to the current aggregated costs of MN we arrive at close to 9 trillions JPY or 70 billions USD).

Just put a stake through the heart of this ghastly thing and let’s be done with it once and for all.

This content was originally published here.

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