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When Apple CEO Tim Cook visited Japan earlier this month, he met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to discuss the App Store, Apple's investments in Japan, and iPhone features that could be adopted in the future, according to a new report from Nikkei.

apple-japan-new-year-promotion-2022.jpg

Kishida asked Cook to enable a digital version of Japan's My Number identification cards, which are issued to all Japanese residents. He wants Cook to support the cards on the iPhone, allowing them to be added to the Wallet app much like IDs in some U.S. states.

Japan has been aiming to increase adoption of the My Number cards, which feature each person's 12-digit ID number. Japan has offered the cards since 2016, but as of 2022, only 49 percent of people have signed up. Adding My Number cards to the Wallet app could encourage more people to use the system because it would make them more convenient and potentially easier to obtain, but some have privacy concerns.

Japan wants to use the My Number cards to store all kinds of personal information, from health insurance data to banking info, and they feature the user's photo, name, address, and date of birth, and there are potential issues with data leaks.

Cook told Kishida that he would work on adding My Number cards to the iPhone, but he said that Apple has "strong concerns" over the handling of My Number IDs. He also reportedly urged Kishida to make sure that regulations surrounding app distribution do not undermine the privacy and security of iPhone users.

The Japanese government has been concerned with Apple and Google's control over the smartphone operating system market, and has proposed rules that would require Apple to allow third-party app stores. Apple in a statement at the time said that it would "engage constructively with the Japanese government." Japan is preparing a final report on Apple's App Store rules, gathering opinions from the public and holding ongoing discussions, so it is not a surprise that Cook is aiming to sway Kishida to abandon legislation that Apple believes would undermine the security of the App Store.

Cook and Kishida also spoke about Apple's investments in the country, with Cook pointing out that Apple has invested more than $100 billion in Japanese supply chains over the course of the last five years, and that it will continue to make its Japanese investments a priority.

Article Link: Tim Cook and Japanese PM Kishida Discussed User Privacy, Digital 'My Number' IDs, and More
 
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BootsWalking

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Feb 1, 2014
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I wonder if Apple could develop a manufacturing base in Japan. Japan is an ally of The West and has manufacturing talent from Toyota and other brands.

Japan is also in proximity to other manufacturing hubs in Southeast Asia, and would likely be a great place to continue to lessen the reliance on Chinese manufacturing.
Too expensive. Many Japanese companies have actually moved production offshore for this very reason.
 

sw1tcher

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Jan 6, 2004
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Japan has been aiming to increase adoption of the My Number cards, which feature each person's 12-digit ID number. Japan has offered the cards since 2016, but as of 2022, only 49 percent of people have signed up. Adding My Number cards to the Wallet app could encourage more people to use the system because it would make them more convenient and potentially easier to obtain, but some have privacy concerns.

Japan wants to use the My Number cards to store all kinds of personal information, from health insurance data to banking info, and they feature the user's photo, name, address, and date of birth, and there are potential issues with data leaks.

Linking the My Number cards to less personal info could encourage more people to use them too.

There will always be people who don't want their govt to so easily collect data on and track them.

This My Number card seems like a bad idea to me and I don't think I'd want one either.
 

citysnaps

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I wonder if Apple could develop a manufacturing base in Japan. Japan is an ally of The West and has manufacturing talent from Toyota and other brands.

Japan is also in proximity to other manufacturing hubs in Southeast Asia, and would likely be a great place to continue to lessen the reliance on Chinese manufacturing.

I'd love to see that.

But I wonder if Apple customers would be willing to pay a noticeably higher price for phones and computers for them being assembled/tested/fullfilled/supply-chain-managed in Japan.

I know that many here would get major case of the shakes from the price increase.
 
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Realityck

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I wonder if Apple could develop a manufacturing base in Japan. Japan is an ally of The West and has manufacturing talent from Toyota and other brands.

Japan is also in proximity to other manufacturing hubs in Southeast Asia, and would likely be a great place to continue to lessen the reliance on Chinese manufacturing.
Japan like other countries only has so much manufacturing capacity. A lot of Japanese companies outsourced manufacturing of electronic products to China as an example. I wonder if Japan still have half their power grid incompatible with each other? Comparably all three regions of the USA are 60 Hz. This was widely talked about after the nuclear reactor accident associated with their massive earthquake in 2011.
The southwestern section can actually produce surplus power, but the transmission and distribution system there operates at 60 Hertz, and the northeastern region's grid operates at 50 Hz.
 

Sasparilla

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>> Japan wants to use the My Number cards to store all kinds of personal information, from health insurance data to banking info, and they feature the user's photo, name, address, and date of birth, and there are potential issues with data leaks. <<

Wow, talk about a centralized honey pot of valuable information for the baddies to be targeting. No wonder only 1/2 the population has one of these (bit amazed its that many). While the benefits of all this information being available in one place are large - security for such valuable items is difficult, expensive, seems never fool proof and ever changing...not something normally associated with government bureaucracies (and nearly all businesses won't spend the money needed).

Quite frankly it really seems we need to fix the security angle on things before embracing stuff like this (i.e. our security tech is not ready). JMHO... Thinking here in the U.S., such a thing would probably be cracked and downloaded in the 1st year of release. Good luck to Japan on such a thing though.
 

ponzicoinbro

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>> Japan wants to use the My Number cards to store all kinds of personal information, from health insurance data to banking info, and they feature the user's photo, name, address, and date of birth, and there are potential issues with data leaks. <<

Wow, talk about a centralized honey pot of valuable information for the baddies to be targeting. No wonder only 1/2 the population has one of these

This shows an ignorance of not only citizen databases which every advanced country has, but also of Japan's culture.

It should be well known by now that Japan has a very aged population and many of the old generation aren't bothered to use new technology. They are still using floppy disks and fax machines.

 

Bug-Creator

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Wow, talk about a centralized honey pot of valuable information for the baddies to be targeting. No wonder only 1/2 the population has one of these (bit amazed its that many).

Dunno seems that it would hold little more information then what could be taken from facebook/google.

So yeah, it is like the "5G" nonsense when everybody is already carrying around devices connected 24/365....
 

ghanwani

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Dec 8, 2008
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I wonder if Apple could develop a manufacturing base in Japan. Japan is an ally of The West and has manufacturing talent from Toyota and other brands.

Japan is also in proximity to other manufacturing hubs in Southeast Asia, and would likely be a great place to continue to lessen the reliance on Chinese manufacturing.
The Japanese themselves have been moving more and more of their manufacturing to China and the current geopolitical situation is unlikely to help given they do not have access to cheap energy like China does.

The bulk of goods sold at Muji, Mini So, and Daiso is made in China.
 
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Sasparilla

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Dunno seems that it would hold little more information then what could be taken from facebook/google.

So yeah, it is like the "5G" nonsense when everybody is already carrying around devices connected 24/365....
Have to disagree there, banking information, health information seems like stuff not normally on facebook / google etc. but, along with the citizen's unique govt ID would probably be very valuable to folks wanting to sell such things.

No 5G nonsense at all.
 
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samuraiQ

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What does identity management in a wallet app have to do with AppStore regulations?

Could Cook be making unrelated deals?
 

ponzicoinbro

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Have to disagree there, banking information, health information seems like stuff not normally on facebook / google etc. but, along with the citizen's unique govt ID would probably be very valuable to folks wanting to sell such things.

No 5G nonsense at all.

Japan's PM discussed privacy and security with Cook.

It's always good to worry about security, but hacking a major bank or modern government is not an easy task especially these days. If it was it would be have been happening regularly.

What usually gets hacked is social media companies, colleges and crypto firms/contracts. These have far less layers of security and hackers know how to use social engineering to break into them.
 
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DeepIn2U

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I wonder if Apple could develop a manufacturing base in Japan. Japan is an ally of The West and has manufacturing talent from Toyota and other brands.

Japan is also in proximity to other manufacturing hubs in Southeast Asia, and would likely be a great place to continue to lessen the reliance on Chinese manufacturing.

Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in Japan. I would love to see that.

This would have nothing to disuade what's already been started with the EU and now Japan considering - forcing Apple to comply with what they want:

Implement 'our' choices for wallet
use a connection standard (which works for current times and may soon change in less than 10yrs)
^ recall USB-A 1.0, then 2.0 is the oldest PC standard. And remember MicroUSB is still used across a few headsets, portable speakers etc. Many laptops STILL use USB-A as a standard. Then we have the fun of USB3.1/3.2/3.2 SuperSpeed and now USB-C. Of which the majority of Android phones use USB-C connection but the speeds, data connectivity differ VERY widely amongst Android phone competitors. Not to mention charging speeds.

This is NOT what a standard is (that EU is pushing). This is offered for food of thought to the conversation herein this article.

Again setting up a manufacturing hub in Japan will not disuade the Japanese government to force Apple to use Japan's My Number identification cards in their Wallet OR force Apple to use a nationwide App to implement their standard regardless of Apple's own concerns over security.

So unless Cook can fluently Read/Write/Speak Japanese and anyone in their Security team can to fully go over their documents and compare over global IT security standards and effectively communicate their concerns directly in a conversation and show as a test in real time without a translator ... few visits and conversations over Zoom may not change Japans course of action. Remember Japan has 49% implementation rate currently amongst their citizen's.
 

Pakaku

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Aug 29, 2009
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This is literally the foundation of the worst conspiracy theories, about a New World Order controlling people with social credit through a singular, centralized data point that "sums up" the person. (But of course, no amount of digital data can ever summarize someone's humanity.)

The only reason I'm inclined to trust something like this is because it's coming from Japan, who are typically a sane and wise society. (Ever since they stopped alleging with Hitler and attacking Pearl Harbor etc.)

But if this were China's idea, or even Canada's? No way. Red flags and alarm bells.
Okay, I'll bite... why is Canada untrustworthy, of all places?
 

MacTiki

macrumors regular
Nov 17, 2008
229
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Linking the My Number cards to less personal info could encourage more people to use them too.

There will always be people who don't want their govt to so easily collect data on and track them.

This My Number card seems like a bad idea to me and I don't think I'd want one either.
Don’t worry the Government already has “Your Number” with the RealID.

The slow rollout of the RealID was planned as to not raise much concern over it being forced on people.

Soon people will not be able to travel, shop or even visit a library or hospital with their RealID being scanned.
 
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MacTiki

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Nov 17, 2008
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Okay, I'll bite... why is Canada untrustworthy, of all places?
“The only reason I'm inclined to trust something like this is because it's coming from Japan, who are typically a sane and wise society.”

Kamikaze pilots.

Seppuku.

Etc….

Now that is the epitome of sanity.
 

addamas

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Apr 20, 2016
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“The only reason I'm inclined to trust something like this is because it's coming from Japan, who are typically a sane and wise society.”

Kamikaze pilots.

Seppuku.

Etc….

Now that is the epitome of sanity.
Buy you know they did all of these due do honor or as a last-card action to win the war? No one was forced to do it - it was people own decision.
So for me they were wise and sane.
 

japanime

macrumors 68030
Feb 27, 2006
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Too expensive. Many Japanese companies have actually moved production offshore for this very reason.
True. But the number and range of electronics and home appliances still being made in Japan is pretty impressive. My television, stovetop, microwave oven and vacuum cleaner were all designed and assembled here, and all were reasonably priced. (I do realize, though, that the components in these products were likely produced overseas.)
 

mattoruu

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Oct 25, 2014
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This shows an ignorance of not only citizen databases which every advanced country has, but also of Japan's culture.

It should be well known by now that Japan has a very aged population and many of the old generation aren't bothered to use new technology. They are still using floppy disks and fax machines.

No average Japanese person is using floppy disk technology from the 1970s. Most everybody here (I’m in Japan) is using USB flash drives, SSDs, SD cards and cloud storage just like people in ’Merica are. That article is about government organizations still using old technology systems. Which is an issue of America and any other country as well (it is not unique to Japan).

Fax machines are technically still in use, but it is not because of individual people wanting to use a fax machine or not knowing how to use more modern tech. It is more because some government and businesses still require the use of fax machines for sending documents and such (though less so every year). I worked for a Japanese company from 2011-2015 that required workers to submit certain documents monthly by fax. When I asked if I could just scan it and email it to the company, I was told their procedures weren’t setup to receive those documents by email. There was no technical reason why we couldn’t use email or another means. It was just company procedure to use fax. I would need to go down to the convenience store at least once a month to use their fax machine there. But I haven’t needed to send a fax in years now. I am sure there are a few holdout companies, but sending faxes isn’t a daily occurrence for the average person in Japan.

As for older people and new technology, there isn’t really any difficult tech associated with the My Number Card (from the user prospective). The My Numbers Card allows for people to use the card with more technology, but it isn’t a requirement.

And getting the My Number Card is just a quick trip to City/Town/Village Hall. It is possible to be in and out with the card in your hand in 10 minutes (depending on how busy they are, of course). It about as difficult as getting any other form of government ID here. Actually… getting a My Number Card was significantly less difficult (in my experience) than getting my Japanese drivers license renewed.

Renewing a Japanese drivers license… now that is an absolute pain to do, lol. It is comically-incomprehensible to get a Japanese drivers license renewed (but not because of any tech reasons… just normal bureaucracy reasons common to most countries).
 
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loby

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Linking the My Number cards to less personal info could encourage more people to use them too.

There will always be people who don't want their govt to so easily collect data on and track them.

This My Number card seems like a bad idea to me and I don't think I'd want one either.
It mandatory now in JAPAN, especially if you are a foreigner living there. They are working toward having it like a social security number like in the U.S.
 

loby

macrumors 68000
Jul 1, 2010
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This shows an ignorance of not only citizen databases which every advanced country has, but also of Japan's culture.

It should be well known by now that Japan has a very aged population and many of the old generation aren't bothered to use new technology. They are still using floppy disks and fax machines.

still have DVD stores too with magazines and Manga (comics). The culture still prefers physical media instead of digital overall. The younger still too, but Amazon and Netflix are pushing the changes.
 
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