back to article Fujitsu admits it fluffed the fix for Japan’s flaky ID card scheme

Fujitsu Japan is in the spotlight again for all the wrong reasons, after fumbling its attempt to fix the nation's troubled ID card scheme. Drone flying over city at sunset Japan Post closer to replacing snail mail with autonomous drones READ MORE The scheme, called My Number, aims to provide every resident with a digital ID …

  1. Ken Y-N

    On the Japanese telly a couple of days ago they had an article about the latest issue - places, even within the same town, can have the same name, or the same kanji but different pronunciation, or people have different ways of writing their address - 1-2-3-4 is actually identical to 一丁目二の三番四号, but the database requires an exact match. One could use the post code which would eliminate 99% of these ambiguities, but the My Number system does not include post codes for whatever reason.

    Yes, I was facepalming that they only just realised this, and it will take them another two years to hook up to some master database of official addresses, although that doesn't address the other issue of needing fuzzy matches.

    1. Blackjack Silver badge

      [My Number system does not include post codes for whatever reason.]

      I guess they don't want to change the card any time a person moves but having to update your national ID when you move is quite common in many countries so I don't see the problem.

  2. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

    Kan Gee Whiz

    1-2-3-4 is actually identical to 一丁目二の三番四号

    Did you perhaps mean to write, "equivalent" instead of "identical"? I recognize "一二三四" as the series of digits, "1","2","3","4", but what did the other characters mean in that context?

    It seems they need a way to reduce such kanjified numeric strings down to a canonical form, if sending a letter to an address, using the canonical numeric form, would result in delivery of the letter to the correct dwelling.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Kan Gee Whiz

      This is a truly ancient problem that has existed since well before the age of computing.

      It has many proposed solutions, none of which work.

    2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Re: Kan Gee Whiz

      It's the equivalent of saying that some people write "Bethlehem District, Albany City, New York State", and some people write "Bethlehem, Albany, New York", but they are literally different, but the database requires them to be functionally identical.

      一丁目二の三番四号 essentially means District 1, Block 2, sub-block 3, Building 4. Many people don't write district 1, block blah blah, they'll just write (and say) "I live at 1,2,3,4." The database requires 1,2,3,4 to be functionally identical to block blah blah. (See link.)

  3. ChoHag Silver badge

    > a failure in which data inconsistency occurred

    Maybe they should have used rust?

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "avoid working with local tech giants"

    Hmm. Have they contacted Crapita yet ?

    Or IBM ?

    1. SCP

      Re: "avoid working with local tech giants"

      Fujitsu need no lessons from Capita - ask any sub-postmaster who suffered under the Horizon debacle. Or indeed Mr Justice Fraser's stinging criticisms.

      Links can be found in this article [The Reg]

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

        Re: "avoid working with local tech giants"

        That's the first thing that comes to mind whenever I see the name. I'm surprised they haven't changed it to hide their past.

  5. CowHorseFrog

    This is another example of governments trying to be fancy and ust making things more complicated and expensive for zero gain.

    Take public transport in any city, stupid ticketting systems costing billions that dont actually make any money. In fact by scaring away the public and slowing people entering and leaving buses and trains, they are actually diverting people to cars. Cars which require roads and tunnels which cost billions far more than the lousy few millions they make from tickets.

    Yup thats genius, requiring people to use a digital identity car for free public health. Why bother.

    1. Dr_N

      Suica/Pasmo seems to work ok in Japan, for ticketing.

      And I'd love a digital identity car. Is that one with vanity plates?

    2. Tim Cockburn

      Spanish motorhome park example

      Stayed at a motorhome "aire" which required passport number plus email to enter. Ok, maybe a know your customer requirement. But thenrequiring a further trip to the login terminal to get a barcode id to empty your poo. Is there really a problem with pirate poo dumpers?

      " Whose poo is it anyway?"

      1. Dr_N

        Re: Spanish motorhome park example

        Passport for any accomodation is de rigueur in most countries.

        1. MiguelC Silver badge

          Re: Spanish motorhome park example

          Not really, I can use my EU ID card anywhere in the EU (and in some other countries too) instead of a passport ;)

          1. Dr_N

            Re: Spanish motorhome park example

            Yup. But Brit tourists mostly don't have those.

            1. anothercynic Silver badge

              Re: Spanish motorhome park example

              A problem unique to Brits then, so maybe the "Passport for any accomodation is de rigueur in most countries." should be rephrased accordingly to "For Brits, a passport for any accomodation is de rigueur in most countries".

              1. Snowy Silver badge

                Re: Spanish motorhome park example

                Or maybe just make it more general to "Governement issued identity document is needed for any accomodation which is de rigueur in most countries"

        2. Colin Bain

          Re: Spanish motorhome park example

          Not in North America, but I realise that is not most countries

  6. johnB


    Haven’t I heard that name recently IRO a certain UK calamity (Yes, Post Office, I’m thinking of you).

    1. Korev Silver badge

      Re: Hmmm...Fujitsu

      Yeah, I can see a screwup on the Horizon...

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Hmmm...Fujitsu

      They're not having much luck with transactional systems, are they?

  7. imanidiot Silver badge

    "MCIJET application behind the remote printing facility and claimed it was complete.

    Now the firm has admitted to "a failure in which data inconsistency occurred." It's asked all local government customers to stop using MICJET"

    So it is MCIJET or MICJET?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Consistent in their inconsistency

    When I worked for Fujitsu in the UK I worked with many skilled, dedicated people doing excellent work of high quality, much of which keeps the country ticking quietly. Unfortunately these islands of competence were surrounded by oceans of fuckwits delivering malevolent screw-ups like Horizon.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Consistent in their inconsistency

      Their customer IT support outsource services are highly regarded among clients, and their workers are often subject of poaching attempts (my brother and daughter wok there, by sister-in-law also did but has been poached by a competitor)

  9. Tron Silver badge


    quote: Japan's pandemic response (which, ironically, was not brilliant...

    In the first year of the pandemic, Japan's mortality rate actually went down. Mask wearing has always been a part of Japanese culture (flu, pollen). Most there still wear a mask in public.

  10. TDog

    Optimal Response

    Surely Fujitsu should lie to the goverment and advise criminal prosecutions against the alleged perps. After all, they have (ahem) form.

  11. Edwin

    Not gomen'nasai

    I believe sumimasen would be more appropriate in this case...

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