Japan's Cabinet has endorsed bills to revise legislation pertaining to "My Number" ID cards, to enable them to be used for a wider range of purposes.
The bills approved by the Cabinet on Tuesday would integrate My Number cards with health insurance cards.
People who lose the integrated cards would be issued certificates to allow them to receive insurance-covered medical treatment.
The government aims to integrate the cards starting in the fall of 2024. Current health insurance cards would be made valid for up to one year after they are abolished.
Children under a year old would be issued cards without photos that would be valid until they turn five.
The government also plans to link My Number cards to financial accounts for receiving public money payments.
Accounts to which public pensions are transferred will be registered as public payment accounts unless their owners don't consent.
The use of My Number cards, which is currently limited to social security, taxes and disaster relief measures, will be extended to other areas, such as national licensing procedures and car registries. This would help eliminate paperwork.
My Number cards can also be used for clerical work that corresponds to legally stipulated work.
The bills are likely to become a focus of Diet debate, as they would enable the wider use of My Number cards without Diet deliberations.
The government aims to have the bills passed during the current ordinary session of the Diet.