Information Storage/Maintenance and Archives

Other Major Institutions

the National Diet Library

NDL-Law defines that NDL is the sole depository library of Japanese gov't documents. The deposition of the central gov't agencies is made through NDL's 35 Branch libraries. Their new computer system, the Branch Libraries Network System, is under way. I am not sure that it will be open to the public near future. I would like to point out here that deposition from each agency does not meet the level that the Law intended. Some examples are:

  1. The actual operation of each Branch library is under the control of each agency. Therefore, the quality of the library operation varies from agency to agency. When I interviewed one official of the MPT, she bluntly said, "It is not functioning at all. I don't think there are any professional librarians working there. Rather, the position is usually rotated among non-career bureaucrats every few years. What they do is just sit in the position and wait for the next rotation."
  2. According to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry official, partly because of the agency's budgetary constraints, some of its publications are printed by closely tied extra-governmental organizations such as MITI's JETRO and JICA. Although the Law includes the publications of these extra- governmental agencies, the deposition decisions are made by the organizations and there is a lack of consistency.
  3. Again agencies are not required to have systematic records management to store and control information. A more aggressive government-wide convention is needed with an enforcement mechanism to ensure compliance.
  4. Hopefully the NDL database will be available on the Internet in the near future.

Japan Documentation Center

I am very impressed and have directly benefited from JDC's active role in Japanese government document collection. I am not just making this up. I have been researching Japan's information disclosure law for a while and I collected most of documents I needed by searching JDC's database on the Net, examining retrieved abstracts, and obtaining the full text by mail from JDC. I also visited the JDC's Tokyo Acquisitions Facility (TAF) and witnessed how the TAF team, literally, walked through agencies to collect information.

Hosei University Center for Business and Industrial Research

2-17-1, Fujimi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Phone: (03)3264-9421

If you are not looking for the most current information, this is a good place to check. The Center is a depository library for government documents collected by special libraries. I believe that many of you may be familiar with the Gray Literature Detective Club. Five years after acquisition, Gray Literature Detective Club companies transfer information to the Hosei University Center. There are very interesting and very gray documents there and the online catalog is available at the Center.

National Archives

The National Archives Law (1988) defines historical materials and ensures "the thirty- year principle." Each agency is supposed to transfer documents, which have some historical value, to the National Archives. Documents which passed thirty years after creations are open to the public. However, transferring documents from agencies does not meet the level that the Law intended.

Institute for Dissemination and Research of Government Data

Membership required. Approximately 5,000 government documents are collected annually. On-line database, GIOSS-Net, is available for members.

Seifu Shiryo Abstract, Monthly
Kancho Shiryo Yoran, Annually

New Policy Information Service (NPIS)

Membership required. Approximately 20,000 government documents are collected annually. Fax delivery service is available for members.
Monthly New Policy
Monthly Report

Dai-ichi Hoki Shuppan

Membership required.
Weekly List
Monthly Digest
Annual Indexes
Keizai Seisaku Joho