New Direction of the Reform of the Statistical System in Japan

New Direction of the Reform of
the Statistical System in Japan
Masahiro HORIE
Professor, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies
Former Vice Minister,
Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications
Outline of the Current
Statistical System in Japan
• The current statistical system in Japan is
a decentralized one.
• The current legal framework for official
statistics is established mainly by the
Statistics Law (1947) and the Statistical
Reports Coordination Law (1952).
Outline of the Current
Statistical System in Japan (cont.)
Main functions for overall coordination of the
statistical administration are
Planning basic policies on statistical systems
Examining and coordinating statistical surveys of
the national government
Establishing statistical standards
Coordinating matters related to international
statistical affairs
Outline of the Current
Statistical System in Japan (cont.)
• Almost 60 years have passed without major
changes in statistical laws.
• There are now deficiencies in meeting new
demands and challenges, such as responding
to the rapidly changing industrial structure
and meeting new and various needs of data
Discussion on
the Reform of Statistics
• Discussion was started in mid-2004 by the
Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy.
• A special committee was set up in the
Cabinet Office in November 2004.
• The committee made its report in June 2005,
and its succeeding committee made its
report in June 2006.
Report of June 2005
• In response to changes in industrial structure,
new statistics such as the Economic Census
and service sector statistics should be
• Statistical systems should be reviewed and
the function of “headquarters” for the
development of statistics should be
Report of June 2006
• The committee proposed the reform of
statistical systems and the reform to
strengthen the “headquarters” function.
• Following this report, it was decided
in July 2006 by the cabinet decision that
a bill for fundamental reform of the
statistical systems should be submitted to
the next ordinary Diet session of 2007.
Necessity of
Reform of Statistical Systems
• Most official statistics are produced
primarily for the administrative purposes.
• Use of administrative records is limited.
• Utilization of statistics does not sufficiently
reflect new needs and advances in ICT.
• Under the decentralized statistical system,
the coordinating agency is not sufficiently
playing a strong and an active role.
Outline of
the New Statistical System
From “statistics for public administration” to
“statistics as an information infrastructure of society”
Basic viewpoints in establishing a new legal system
1) To build appropriate disciplines and frameworks for
statistics from the viewpoints of both producers and users
2) To establish a mechanism to develop official statistics
efficiently based on overall plans regardless of the source
or method of producing statistics
3) To strengthen the function of “headquarters” for developing
official statistics
Points of
the New Statistical System
(1) Instituting mid-term basic plans as a
statutory requirement to be decided by
the Cabinet
(2) Establishing rules for utilizing
administrative records
(3) Instituting “population information”
about businesses and establishments
(business frame)
Points of
the New Statistical System (cont.)
(4) Establishing rules to make clearer the obligation to
ensure confidentiality in cases when statistical
surveys are contracted out to private organizations
(5) Promoting the secondary use of statistical data (such
as tailor-made compilation and utilization of
anonymous micro data) by ensuring the protection
of confidentiality
(6) Establishing the new Statistics Committee
(provisional title) in the Cabinet Office
• The Office of Director-General for
Statistical Standards Policy (MIC) is now
preparing a draft revision of the two laws.
• Realizing reform of statistical systems will
be essential for the further development of
official statistics in Japan.
Thank you !