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2009年2月15日 (日)

住基ネット 違法状態は早期に解消せよ

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Feb. 15, 2009)

All local govts must join Juki Net system

住基ネット 違法状態は早期に解消せよ(215日付・読売社説)

The Basic Residents' Registration Network, or Juki Net, has already been confirmed as constitutional by the judiciary. As such, expeditious measures must be taken to rein in the fraction of local governments that have decided--at their own discretion--not to participate in the Juki Net system.


The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry instructed the Tokyo metropolitan government to issue the Kunitachi municipal government with an order to correct its illegal nonparticipation in Juki Net. The ministry also plans to take a similar step against the town government of Yamatsurimachi, Fukushima Prefecture.


It is the first time for the ministry to issue this kind of correction order based on the Local Government Law. Although it is an unusual step, we believe this is an appropriate action.


Kunitachi dropped out of Juki Net in December 2002, citing fears over information leakage, among other reasons. The Tokyo metropolitan government has slapped Kunitachi with similar orders on two previous occasions, but it has stubbornly refused to return to the fold.



Top court judgment

In March 2008, the Supreme Court handed down its judgment on a series of so-called Juki Net suits filed nationwide, saying: "There is no concrete evidence that residents' information is in danger of being leaked to third parties. The privacy rights of citizens will not be violated."


If local governments ignore the top court's legal determination and continue to violate the Basic Resident Register Law, it will no longer be possible to perceive this country as operating under the rule of law.

In one such suit, the Suginami Ward government had demanded the introduction of a system in which residents would only register with Juki Net if they wished to participate.

However, the ward government subsequently dropped this demand and signed up to Juki Net last month.


In September last year, the Kunitachi Municipal Assembly adopted a resolution asking the municipal government to integrate its residents' data with Juki Net. This decision likely was made in consideration of the convenient services that would become available to residents, such as electronic tax declarations.


Though the Kunitachi municipal government can ask for an administrative review of the correction order, this may be a good time for it to take a long, hard look at the situation and make moves toward teaming up with the rest of the country.



Efficient system

Juki Net helps streamline administrative procedures. Local governments presently use the online system to provide the central government's administrative institutions with an annual 100 million pieces of resident-verification data, which greatly cuts clerical costs.


Under the system, about 30 million citizens annually need not submit pension payment status reports, and the 4.5 million people who request passports and other services each year are not obliged to submit residential certificates. This provides the people of this nation with a great benefit.


Though there has not been a single instance of personal information leakage since Juki Net was launched in August 2002, the government should not rest on its laurels. Rather, it should seek to further enhance the efficiency and convenience of the system, while ensuring that the control of personal information remains at the top of its agenda.


The introduction of a social security numbering system capable of integrating and managing personal data relating to pension, health care and other programs has become a hot topic within government and ruling party circles. If such a system were to become a reality, it would be practical to utilize the current Juki card as a social security card.


At present, however, a mere 2.3 percent of the population hold Juki cards. This low rate may be attributable to certain defects within the system. For instance, a card cannot be used if a person moves from one municipality to another. The ministry aims to address this shortcoming by revising the law to enable Juki cards to be used outside specific localities.



The government should continue to make efforts to improve the functionality and convenience of the Juki Net system.


(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 15, 2009)

20092150152  読売新聞)


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