A new foreign residency management system came into effect on 9th July 2012 in Japan. The new system brings about two main changes. Foreigners in Japan will now have a Residence Card with an IC chip containing information about the card holder, including residence status, period of stay and personal information such as name, address and date of birth. The Residence Card replaces the Alien Registration Card. Secondly, foreigners will now use the same system as Japanese nationals by being registered locally on a Residence Board (Juminhyo) under the authority of the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry.
There are a number of frequently asked questions that have been emerging about these changes. These questions and answers to them can be found on Japan Info Swap, along with more comprehensive information about the new foreign residency management system.