Strict privacy laws and missing persons case

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It is not easy to search for people in Japan due to;

  • Restrictive privacy laws
  • Flaws of government’s documenting system of citizens

There are no comprehensive proprietary databases for people search or background checks in Japan, which will be the standard in common law based countries because there are no public records in Japan except for corporate registry and real estate registry records. Even multi-national data broker giants have never been able to launch Japanese versions of their databases for background checks. Personal information is, in a sense, deemed as important as confidential information on national defense in Japan.

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Another reason why location investigation is difficult is that there is no searchable ID number system in Japan. We have complicated, double combined documentation systems for citizens:

  • Residential registry records (Juminhyo).
  • Family registry records (Koseki).

Japan has adopted the national ID number system (My Number System), but the Japanese government does not make the database available for any civil investigation purposes. The residence registry record database is not searchable from the name of a person. We need name and address to obtain the record and the old record is deleted after five years of moving out.

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