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Official Statistics

This webpage introduces Official Statistics. Overall statistics including those compiled by the private sector are introduced in Statistical Materials for Learning about Japan.

Japan ― Official Statistics in Research Navi describes Official Statistics in Japanese.

Table of contents

1. Overview of Official Statistics
2. Statistics administration in Japan
3. National Statistical Compendia
4. Prefectural Statistics
5. Statistics Portal Site
6. Reference Books on Statistics

1. Overview of Official Statistics

Statistics systems are defined by the Statistics Act外部サイトへのリンク (Act No. 53 of 2007)and are under the supervision of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. According to the Statistics Act, Official Statistics are statistics compiled by national administrative organs, local governments or independent administrative institutions, etc. Of them, statistics prepared by national administrative organs include fundamental statistics and general statistics.

1-1. Fundamental statistics・General statistics

Fundamental statistics form cores of Official Statistics. They are especially important statistics in the planning and implementation of national policies. They are also expected to be widely used for decision-making processes and research activities in the private sector, and often required to be prepared in plans made by international conventions or organizations. They also have an important role in making an international comparisons. Currently, there are 56 fundamental statistics.

The national census, one of the fundamental statistics, is a survey of the national population and households. It is used for drawing the House of Representatives Electoral Districts or calculating local allocation taxes; therefore, the national census is regarded as the most important statistical survey. The first national census was in 1920. Since then, it has been conducted every five years. The large-scale surveys are conducted in the years that end in zero and simple surveys are conducted in the years that end in five. Each survey result is released.

General statistics are statistics compiled by the government, excluding fundamental statistics.

1-2. Survey statistics・Business statistics・Processed statistics

Official Statistics are classified by preparation method such as Survey statistics, Business statistics or Processed statistics.

Survey statistics are the aggregated results of a field survey through questionnaire (statistics survey) which is conducted in preparation of statistics. Statistics surveys include the Fundamental Statistics Survey, which is conducted to prepare Fundamental statistics; the General Statistics Survey, which is conducted to prepare General statistics; and Statistics Survey which is conducted by local governments(prefectures and ordinance-designated cities)and independent administrative institutions, etc.

Business statistics are prepared by aggregating the business data of administrative organs. Processed statistics are prepared by processing other statistics. Fundamental statistics include Business statistics(Vital Statistics and Statistics on Building Construction Starts)and Processed statistics(National Accounts Statistics and Index of mining and manufacturing industries, etc.).

2. Statistics administration in Japan

Japan's statistics organizations are "decentralized type"; therefore, each administrative organ conducts a statistics survey in its own administrative field.

The Director-General for Policy Planning and Evaluation in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications(statistical standards)conducts interdisciplinary coordination of statistics prepared by each administrative organ. Director-General for Policy Planning and Evaluation(statistical standards)is in charge of planning and preparation for the Basic Plan concerning the development of official statistics based on the Statistics Act as well as management of technical standards to ensure uniformity and integrity.

The Statistics Commission has been set up in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications as a neutral and fair third-party organization that engages in development of Official Statistics.

3. National Statistical Compendia

Information based on statistics surveys conducted by government agencies is compiled in each statistical compendium. Representative statistical compendia in Japan are as follows (posted on the website of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications):

4. Prefectural Statistics

Prefectural Statistics are prepared in accordance with the national uniform standards and published once a year.

Here is a collection of links to Statistics Yearbooks (Statistics, Prefectural directories and Statistics annuals) published by prefectures.(The statistics are written only in Japanese except for Tokyo.)

5. Statistics Portal Site

The government develops a portal site of Official Statistics and open data to promote open access.

  • e-Stat外部サイトへのリンク - Portal Site of Official Statistics of Japan
    e-Stat is a portal site of Official Statistics of Japan, enabling one-stop search and browse of the statistics survey conducted by each ministry/agency and related information. API (Application Programming Interface)function is provided.
  • Statistics Japan外部サイトへのリンク - Statistics Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications
    A website of the Statistics Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. The website contains an overview of Statistics systems and shows the results of statistics surveys conducted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
  • DATA.GO.JP外部サイトへのリンク
    DATA.GO.JP is an information portal site on open data operated by the Administrative Management Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. Data held by government ministries/agencies are available as open data. DATA.GO.JP registers many data sets and they are downloadable.

6. Reference Books on Statistics

  • 国立国会図書館
  • 国立国会図書館オンライン
  • 国立国会図書館サーチ
  • 国立国会図書館デジタルコレクション
  • ひなぎく
  • レファレンス協同データベース
  • 本の万華鏡