I had already published on this subject here before but now I’m reposting it with much more details of what will happen in Japan.
Japan is planning to register a new invoice system in October of 2023, this will cause everyone who takes jobs to end up having their real names saved in a database that will be fully open to the public.
This will make everyone who currently works anonymously end up having their real names released, this includes mangakas, Vtubers, singers, illustrators anyone who works publicly without revealing their real identity.
In a nutshell, the new “qualified invoice system” will make it easier for Japan’s tax collectors to collect the information on how companies are paying their contractors.
Contractors will be forced to register as not doing so will cost them much more. Once the new qualifying invoice system is fully implemented, companies must provide a qualifying invoice to indicate how much they paid.
If this is not done, they will not be able to obtain a tax credit for the consumption tax they have paid. So if you are a business owner, you want all your contractors to provide you with qualified invoices. Contractors who cannot provide qualified invoices are more expensive. The problem is that a contractor must register their real name in the national database to become one.
When pressed on the fact that people’s privacy will be compromised if their real name and registration number will be available online for everyone to download, the Minister of Finance disagreed saying that listing real names should not be an invasion of privacy.
Furthermore, the Minister of Finance justified that this database could be downloaded in its entirety and marketed as part of software packages, saying that downloading wholesale would be convenient for large companies as they would not be forced to look up and enter this information manually. .
In Japan it is very common for illustrators, mangakas, some singers and Vtubers to work under another name, without revealing their real identities, it is obvious that bad intentions will take advantage of this database to discover the real identity of various manga authors, illustrators and Vtubers .
Others have raised their concerns about censorship, publicly displaying everyone’s name would be a way for the government to get to censor whomever they want without compromising, claiming that “information is public” so it’s not the government’s fault.
What they will do with this data is kind of obvious too, spread their real identities and the risk of harassment will grow a lot.