Japan to Use National ID System for Foreign Workers
As Japan’s labor shortage is starting to draw more workers into the country, it will begin tracking foreign residents’ employment status through its national ID system.
Each foreign resident will be given with 12-digit numbers as part of its “My Number” system. And, the same will be linked to the employee’s tax and social security data, which is likewise associated to information on the employee’s wage and employer. The numbers will be issued to anyone provided that they have a resident card, including the students as well as the short-term residents.
So far, the country’s citizens’ numbers are already linked to their tax and security data. However, foreign workers must first provide their proof of tax payments and income, and their employer’s information, to the government on their own.
Meanwhile, companies are also expected to provide information on foreign labors to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. But, the picture apparently provides a rough picture of the current situation as employers may simply submit false data or fail to report foreign labors altogether.
The government believes that linking employment data to its residents’ ID numbers will help its authorities to enforce labor law on foreign residents, like a minimum 28-hour a week work limit by foreign students. In line with its implementation, its Ministry of Justice must carefully examine the documentation that workers submit to eliminate violations.
Moreover, the government will include rules to make more effective use of the number system into its larger collection of economic growth strategies as soon as possible.
When parliament convenes in 2019, legal changes linking employment data to residents’ ID are expected to take place. Also, regulations governing wider control and refugees could be modified as well.
The unified system would improve government statistics. Some say that it is apparently far possible to determine the economic impact of the increasing number of foreign workers in Japan. At present, Tokyo considers collecting statistics on foreigners’ tax payments in an aim to assess their contributions to the country’s economy.
Apparently, Japan is eyeing to expand the use of foreign workers to address a shortage of its labors at home. In fact, the government now considers providing participants in a foreign technical trainee program more tough working permits once they accomplished their training, along with other measures. Taking steps to further understand the state foreign workers in Japan will make expressing and imposing additional policies way easier.
Since 2015, the Japanese government has been notifying its residents of their numbers, and the following year, they begun using ID cards with the numbers. However, only approximately 10% of them have received their cards, not to mention the fact that the system’s rollout has been flooded by concerns regarding security.