The aim of the new residency management system is to enable the Ministry of Justice to continuously keep information necessary for managing the residency of foreign nationals residing in Japan for the mid-to long-term with resident status, and ensure greater convenience for those foreign nationals.
The system will issue qualifying foreign nationals a resident card containing a portrait photo of the individual, basic personal information such as his/her name, his/her resident status and his/her currently allowed period of stay.
Moreover, because the new system will allow authorities to more accurately track resident status than with the previous system, it makes it possible to introduce measures that will improve the convenience of foreign nationals who legally reside in Japan, such as a maximum period of stay of five years instead of the previous three years, and a new reentry permit system that waives reentry permit formalities for foreign nationals who leave and reenter Japan within one year of the date of their original departure.
The current alien registration system will be abolished with the start of the new residency management system.
More details can found from http://www.immi-moj.go.jp/newimmiact_1/en/index.html