Industry News

Proposed security rules could limit ticket-buying for tourists in Japan

Featured image credit: jonas on Unsplash

Purchasing tickets could be harder for tourists in Japan, after the country’s Minister of Digital Affairs Taro Kano asked the Cabinet’s Digital Agency to discuss the possibility of event-goers presenting their My Number Card, a government-issued ID card, when purchasing tickets and attempting to enter the venue. 

According to a report from newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, the Digital Agency’s suggestion is that buyers would need to attach their My Number Card, which is equipped with an IC chip, to their smartphone before finalising a purchase.

Event-goers would then need to present their My Number Card before entry to the stadium, concert hall or theatre.

The Digital Agency says this would increase security and improve identity confirmation, and subsequently help to tackle ticket scalping.

At present, Japanese residents have been issued with a My Number number, which is similar to a social security number in the US or a national insurance number in the UK, and is used as a form of identification for pension, tax and various other government uses.

According to the report, the My Number Card is set to replace the current national health insurance card in 2024. The government is also considering having the My Number Card function as a driver’s licence.

Around 60% of Japanese residents have applied for the still-optional IC chip-equipped My Number Card. The idea of making it easier to purchase sports and concert tickets has been seen as a ploy to pressure residents into signing up for the card.

The proposed system would also make it impossible for those without smartphones to purchase tickets, as a device is needed to authenticate the buyer’s identity through the IC chip in the My Number Card. A number of people are also concerned over privacy and personal information security.

It would further mean that short-term visitors and tourists would be unable to attend live events and entertainment in the country, as they do not hold a My Number Card to purchase tickets.