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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 June 3 - 9  > Sex registration on ‘My Number’ cards backpedals on efforts to eliminate discrimination against LGBT people
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2015 June 3 - 9 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Sex registration on ‘My Number’ cards backpedals on efforts to eliminate discrimination against LGBT people

June 7, 2015
Under the Social Security and Tax Number System scheduled to start in January 2016, people will have to register their name, address, date of birth, and sex data on their “My Number” number cards. This has made LGBT people apprehensive.

Workers will be required to notify their employers of their ID information after the “My Number” system begins.

40-year-old Maki Masataka is a transgender man living in Akita Prefecture. He has always had a feeling that he was a male born in a girl’s body. About 15 years ago, Maki decided to live life as a man, including at his workplace. Maki also heads a group providing supports to LGBT people.

Regarding sex registration on “My Number” ID cards, Maki said with deep anxiety, “If my company finds out that I disguise my sex, I may lose my job. Or, if my colleagues know about my secret, I may receive harassment.”

Most transgender people and those who suffer gender identity disorder choose a contingent work style so that they need not designate their gender to their employers. Those who transformed themselves into female, in particular, are working as contingent workers, according to a civil group survey.

Efforts made by trans people and their supporters have borne fruit. Some official application forms, for example, have no sex designation checkbox. The “My Number” system runs counter to this move. Lawyer Sakamoto Madoka, who is familiar with the new ID number system, said, “A system which requires people to register their sex in defiance of their will is really discriminatory.” Maki said, “The system will further depress people who are struggling in a society where they can’t be true to themselves.”

Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Ikeuchi Saori criticized the “My Number” system for having huge problems in regard to privacy breaches as well as forced registration of sex.

A bill to expand the use of the “My Number” system is under debate in the House of Councilors in the midst of mounting public criticism against the massive leak of personal information from the Japan Pension Service.

Past related articles:
> Leak of personal information about public pensions overturns basis of ‘My Number’ system [June 2, 2015]
> ‘My Number’ system would deny people’s right to work [May 15, 2015]
> JCP Ikeuchi pushes gov’t to protect LGBT rights [March 6, 2015]
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