See More on Facebook

Curiosity

Japan requires foreigners to have ID card to receive basic care

Foreign residents to be required to show residence cards to receive health care.


Written by

Updated: November 19, 2018

The government is planning to require foreign residents to show residence cards or other photo identification when receiving medical care in Japan, sources said.

The move is prompted by concerns about people using health insurance cards that are not their own to fraudulently receive medical care. This is a particularly serious worry due to plans to begin admitting more foreign workers from April.

To ensure the requirement does not discriminate against foreign residents, the government is considering also requiring Japanese people to show driver’s licenses or other forms of ID.

The requirements could go into force as early as next fiscal year. The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry plans to thoroughly notify foreign residents and encourage medical institutions to ask for ID.

Residence cards are a form of photo identification given to foreign residents who stay in Japan for three months or longer. By law, foreign residents are required to carry these cards at all times.

Japan’s universal health insurance system, as a rule, requires foreign residents to enroll in the system.

Anyone with an insurance card, whether Japanese or foreign, can receive medical care if they shoulder 30 percent of the cost, in principle.

However, insurance cards do not have photographs. “Even if a hospital thinks it may be another person, if the patient insists, ‘It’s me,’ it’s difficult to dispute that,” a senior health ministry official said.

A Liberal Democratic Party working group on medical care for foreign residents has interviewed representatives of the medical field and municipalities, hearing reports on cases of people impersonating others to receive medical care.

In 2014, a Vietnamese woman living illegally in Kobe used the insurance card of her younger sister, a resident of Japan, to fraudulently receive care for HIV. Reducing one’s own medical expenses by using another person’s insurance card could be considered an illegal act.

The government submitted a bill to revise the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law that would increase the number of foreign workers to the present extraordinary Diet session. It is expected that over a five-year period starting in fiscal 2019, as many as 345,150 foreign workers could be admitted to work in a total of 14 industries, such as nursing care and construction.

Along with the revision of the law, the government decided that new measures for confirming people’s identities were needed to prevent fraudulent use of the health insurance system.

Because some Japanese people are also likely to have received medical care by impersonating others, making only foreign residents show their IDs might result in promoting discrimination against them.

For this reason, the government is considering a framework that would also require Japanese people to show a driver’s license or My Number identification card along with an insurance card.

However, there are some challenges in the framework, as not everyone has a driver’s license and, as of Wednesday, only 12.2 percent of the population had a My Number card.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


The Japan News
About the Author: The Japan News is published by The Yomiuri Shimbun, which boasts the largest circulation in the world.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Curiosity

Japan okays jamming hostile satellites

Japan approves a measure to research the capabilities to jam hostile communication satellites. The government plans to possess the capability to jam hostile communication satellites in outer space, a new policy stipulated in a draft outline of the next National Defense Program Guidelines set to be approved by the Cabinet as early as Tuesday next week. The government submitted on Tuesday this week draft outlines of the guidelines as well as of the Medium Term Defense Program (fiscal 2019-23), which are compiled based on the national defense guidelines, to the ruling parties’ working team and gained general approval. The new national defense guidelines are characterized as reinforcement of counter-capabilities in new domains including space, cyberspace and electromagnetic waves. The outline calls for advancing the “consolidation of the Ground, Maritime an


By The Japan News
December 13, 2018

Curiosity

UK court orders tycoon’s extradition to India

Vijay Mallya can be extradited back to India, a UK court rules. A London court on Monday ordered extradition of liquor baron Vijay Mallya to India, where the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines boss is wanted for alleged in financial irregularities and loan default ammounting to over $1 billion US Dollars. The Vijay Mallya extradition case has been referred to UK Secretary of State Sajid Javid, who will pass an order based on the verdict. In a setback to Mallya, Westminster Magistrates’ Court Chief Magistrate Judge Emma Arbuthnot ruled that that there was “no sign of a false case being mounted against him”, adding he could be extradited to India to stand trial on the charges brought by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Department, a PTI report said. “Having considered evidence as a whole.


By The Statesman
December 11, 2018

Curiosity

Publicity stunt overshadows Nepal government’s social security policy

Nepal’s new social security scheme—a campaign that marketing analysts said was worth millions of rupees – was overshadowed by a government publicity stunt. It was supposed to be an earnest attempt to launch the nation’s first contribution-based social security scheme. But millions of residents in Kathmandu woke up on Tuesday morning to receive their newspapers that carried a jacket advertisement featuring a gargantuan picture of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli with a slogan–“Beginning of a new era.” For many, it was more of the same. Over a dozen newspapers, online news outlets, floating street banners and billboard posts were plastered with the prime minister’s image announcing the social security scheme—a campaign that marketing analysts said was


By The Kathmandu Post
November 28, 2018

Curiosity

Gene editing experiment generates controversy

A Chinese scientist’s attempt to produce the world’s first gene-edited babies who are immune to HIV has sparked heated controversy among those in academia and the public. In an online video posted on Monday, He Jiankui, a biological researcher, announced that a pair of twin baby girls, Lulu and Nana, were born healthy a few weeks ago through in-vitro fertilization with genetic editing technology that can prevent them from being infected with HIV. “The mother started her pregnancy by regular IVF with one difference: right after sending her husband’s sperm into her eggs, we also sent in a little bit of protein and instruction for a gene surgery,” He, from the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, said in the video. “Lulu and Nana were just a single cell when the surgery removed the doorway through which HIV enters to infect people.̶


By China Daily
November 27, 2018

Curiosity

Dolce & Gabbana ‘racist’ ad leads to Chinese boycott

A racist ad and Instagram post has prompted massive backlash at luxury brand Dolce and Gabbana in China. Chinese e-commerce firm Yangmatou has taken 58,000 Dolce & Gabbana (D&G) products off its site, saying “the motherland is more important than anything else”. On Alibaba’s Tmall shopping portal, a search for D&G returned no results, as did a check on JD.com’s site. The boycott comes after the Italian fashion house’s Chinese advertising campaign was deemed racist and insensitive, with the fallout also causing the cancellation of its Shanghai show on Wednesday. Bloomberg reported that the advertising clips


By The Straits Times
November 23, 2018

Curiosity

Korean businesses demand right to purchase renewable energy

Samsung gradually being pressed by clients like Apple to use renewable energy. Samsung Electronics and 11 large South Korean companies pledged to expand the use of renewable energy and called for the creation of a system that would enable businesses to purchase renewable energy during an energy forum in Seoul on Thursday. The 12 companies, including Samsung Electronics, SK hynix, Shinhan Financial Group, KB Financial Group, Industrial Bank of Korea, AB InBev and Ikea Korea, announced in a joint statement, “We recognize the importance of companies’ responsibility and roles (concerning) climate change. … We will actively expand the use of renewable energy.” The companies also have a number of global clients and partners that belong to RE100, a global campaign to go 100 percent renewable in offices, buildings and production plants. The 155 member companies include Apple, BMW, Volkswagen, Google, Fa


By The Korea Herald
November 23, 2018