Canada    FinTech Guide    Chapter 11    Japan

11. Identification
Japan  Japan

According to a report of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on electronic signatures and certification business, 93% of respondents answered a questionnaire that they have the need for certification services.

Legal Affairs

Although providing identification services is not required to obtain a license, with respect to certification business using electronic signature (business that certifies the electronic signature to confirm that was performed by user who performed) that conforms to certain criteria may obtain accreditation from the competent minister (Act on Electronic Signature and Certification Business, Art. 2, para. 3, and Art.4, para.1). In addition, the certification business regarding the Public Certification Service for Individuals using "Individual Number Cards" is subject to certification by Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications (Japanese Public Key Infrastructure Act, Art. 17, para.3, item 6).

In the case of providing identification services, the FinTech service provider needs to pay attention to the Act on Electronic Signatures and Certification Business, the Act on the Protection of Personal Information and the Guideline prescribed by National Center of Incident readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity and so on.

Economic Conditions

According to private research, the scale of the identification services market in 2016 is expected about JPY 12.45 billion.

There are twelve companies which obtained accreditation for the Act on Electronic Signatures and Certification Business (as of Jan, 2017). Also, there are ten companies, which provide the Public Certification Service for Individuals using "Individual Number Cards", which are certified by the Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications (as of Mar 27, 2017).


The revised Act on the Protection of Personal Information which is in force from May 30, 2017 clarified that the physical feature data such as DNA, fingerprints and so on used as biometrics is included in "personal information" as an "individual identification code".

Contributing Authors

Ushijima & Partners

Hiroyasu Kageshima
Tokyo, Japan

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1. Payment Services / Mobile Payment

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3. Consulting and Broking Services / Robo-advisory / Auto-trading

4. Trading Platforms / Social Trading Platforms / Signal Following

5. Crowdfunding / Crowdinvesting / Crowdlending

6. Virtual Currency - Bitcoin

7. Loan Services / Factoring / Loan Broking / Finetrading

8. Online Banking Services

9. Analytics and Research / Data Management / Risk Management

10. Accounting

11. Identification

12. Online-pawning

13. InsurTech

14. RegTech

15. Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)

The information in this guide provides a general overview at the time of publication and is not intended to be a comprehensive review of all legal developments nor should it be taken as opinion or legal advice on the matters covered. It is for general information purposes only and readers should take legal advice from a Multilaw member firm.

Publication Date: 1 May 2018