Japan’s national identification system, “My Number,” launched in 2015, runs the risk of errors.

Tokyo, Japan:

A Japanese foreigner unwittingly lives under a fake identity for six months until it’s revealed he’s mixed up with a similar stranger.

The 20-year-old went to Tokushima city hall in western Japan to register his residency status in November, a municipality official told AFP on Tuesday.

But in a bureaucratic error, he was assigned the identity of a completely different person — with the same name, the same nationality and even the same birthday.

When the man came to City Hall, staff searched the National Identification Number registry and found that someone with the same details lived in another city, the official said.

After an exchange with the man, who spoke minimal Japanese, the staff mistakenly assumed he was moving from one city to another, and attached his current accommodation details.

Half a year later, the National Pension Service realized something was amiss, and informed the city of its mistake.

“We have learned that there is room for error” even when appropriate measures are taken, the Tokushima official said, declining to identify any of the doppelgangers on paper.

He added that the other person had already left Japan, meaning the mistake did not come to light sooner.

Japan launched an identification number system called “My Number” in 2015, but some have said the new system is vulnerable to human error and data leaks.

(Other than the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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