News On Japan

Japan to Be First Outside the U.S. to Integrate ID Functionality into iPhone

TOKYO, May 30 (News On Japan) - The Japanese government has reached an agreement with American tech giant Apple to incorporate My Number Card functionality into iPhones by next spring, the first country outside the United States to integrate ID functionality into Apple devices.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hayashi stated, 'Today, Prime Minister Kishida held a televised meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook and confirmed that My Number Card functionality will be integrated into iPhones by next spring.' He emphasized that this agreement will allow iPhone users to enjoy the convenience of having their My Number Card functions on their smartphones, a feature currently limited to Android devices.

Apple announced, 'We are preparing to enable residents in Japan to use their My Number Card with Apple Wallet starting in the latter half of next spring,' noting that 'Japan will be the first country outside the United States to integrate ID functionality.'

The Diet is expected to pass an amendment to the My Number Act on May 31, allowing all functions of the My Number Card, including the My Number Insurance Card, to be integrated into smartphones. This amendment will enable various procedures without needing the physical card, such as identity verification when opening a bank account online, age verification at convenience store self-checkouts, and using a smartphone instead of a My Number Insurance Card at medical institutions.

Prime Minister Kishida and Digital Minister Kono had a phone meeting with Apple CEO Tim Cook earlier today to finalize the decision. Currently, My Number Card functions can only be integrated into Android smartphones. Negotiations between the government and Apple had been ongoing to enable the same functionality for iPhones.

The integration will allow information linked to the My Number Card, such as name, address, date of birth, gender, and a photo, to be stored on smartphones. This development is expected to bring significant convenience and efficiency to Japanese residents, marking a significant step forward in the digitization of personal identification and public services in Japan.

Source: TBS

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