Social Security Number In Japan

Social Security Number In Japan: Explained

Understanding the intricacies of Japan’s social security system is crucial for both locals and expats alike, particularly when it comes to obtaining a social security number (SSN). Worry Not! We’ve got you covered for this!

This essential piece of documentation is key to accessing a range of services and benefits within the country. Our guide aims to demystify the process, providing clear, step-by-step advice on how to secure your SSN in Japan, ensuring you’re fully integrated into the social safety net.

Let’s dive in!

What Is The Social Security Number In Japan?

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The Japanese government has prepared the new social security and tax number system, “My Number”.  

These cards replace the Basic Registration Card and are mandatory for all foreign residents. The Individual Number Card provides access to the secure online system My Portal, which contains various services and information.

Under the Social Security and Tax Number System, every person registered on a residence certificate will be assigned a 12-digit Individual Number (Social Security and Tax Number). 

As such, it has become possible to accurately and efficiently link information for individuals across social security, tax, and disaster response regions.  

Plenty of application forms submitted to the Health Insurance Association ask for the Social Security and Tax Number entry.

As for tax procedures, the number will appear on income tax returns, notification records, etc., submitted to tax authorities and other procedures.

Companies active in Japan are expected to use social security and tax numbers for the various legally required records, such as notices of acquisition of insurance qualification and other documents to be submitted to administrative entities.

Foreign residents listed on resident records will also receive Individual Numbers. This will lessen the amount of paperwork foreign residents must provide to gain access to many government services. 

Furthermore, if a foreign resident leaves Japan and gives up their residency but returns to live in Japan at a later time, their Number should remain the same.

Remember that there is no difference between social security numbers and social insurance numbers.

Application Method By Mail

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An Individual Number Notice and Individual Number Card application form is delivered to your address by simplified registered mail.

If a Notification Card has already been sent to you, you can still use the Individual Number Card application form that comes with it.

How To Fill Out The Form?

Fill Out Your Name, Address, Etc:

Even if you have changed your name or address, for applications via smartphone, PC, or ID photo booth, you can still use the application form with your old information.

For mail applications, please cross out the outdated information with a double line, write your new information in the blank space, and submit your application normally.

  • Fill out your phone number.
  • Give the application date.
  • Fill out the applicant’s name.
  • Fill in your name in the section for the applicant’s name.
  • Please attach your ID photograph.
  • Identify whether or not issuance of an “Electronic certificate for the bearer’s signature” or “Electronic certificate for user identification” is required.

It’s important to note that the certificate is not issued for someone under 15, and an adult must complete the form.

You must mail “an application form for issuance of the Individual Number Card” in an enclosed return envelope.

Application By A Smartphone/Computer

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The steps for this process are as follows:

  • Email address registration
  • ID photograph registration
  • Application information registration

After inputting the required matters and sending them, you will receive an email notifying you of completing the application at the registered Email address.

The government has set up a special website about the new system. 

English language information is limited on these pages, but a Call Centre handling inquiries about the new system has been running since October 2014 and handles several foreign languages. 

The number is +81-(0)570-20-0291 (Weekdays only, between 9:30-17:30 Japan time)

What Does The SSN Card Look Like?

The Social Security and Tax Number Card is a plastic card with an embedded IC chip. The front indicates the bearer’s name, address, date of birth, gender, and facial photograph. The rear indicates the bearer’s Social Security and Tax Number.

It usually takes around one month between the application for an Individual Number Card and the municipalities’ delivery of a Notice of Issuance.

If you have lost the Individual Number issuance application form, click here to download the issuance application form [English] or [Japanese]

Can You Use Your Number Card As A Health Insurance Card?

This means you can verify various eligibility information, such as the health insurer providing coverage at medical care institutions. This can also be done at other facilities that have adopted the online eligibility verification system.

You can continue using your current health insurance card. The system adds a health insurance card feature to the Social Security and Tax Number Card.

You must register on the Mynaportal site before using your Number Card as your health insurance card.

Online Eligibility Verification

The online eligibility verification system uses the IC chip on the Individual Number Card or the health insurance card code/number, etc., to verify eligibility information.

Medical care institutions and other facilities must handle patients’ Social Security and Tax Numbers directly. Instead, they use the IC chips on Individual Number Cards.

It is important to note that an Individual Number Card cannot be used as a health insurance card at medical care institutions and other facilities that have yet to adopt the online eligibility verification system.


Navigating the process of obtaining a social security number in Japan doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With the insights from our comprehensive guide, you’re now equipped with the knowledge needed to successfully apply for your SSN, unlocking the door to numerous benefits and services.

Embrace this essential step with confidence, knowing that it paves the way for a secure and supported stay in Japan.

Benefits Unlocked!

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