Information Storage/Maintenance and Archives
Other Major Institutions
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
- 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."
- 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.
- 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.
- Hopefully the NDL database will be available on the Internet in the near
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.
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.
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.
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
- Weekly List
- Monthly Digest
- Annual Indexes
- Keizai Seisaku Joho