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Current Digitization of Official Publications in Japan

Last updated: 31 May 2016

Official publications from Japanese institutions are increasingly published in digital format.
According to a FY2013 survey by the National Diet Library (NDL), the Japanese government officially published 895 documents, 68.7% of which were collected in printed form and 69.7% in digital form, totaling of 874 individual items or 97.7% of all publications.
The survey also revealed that there were a considerable numbers of official documents that were published only in digital format.
The Japanese government continues to promote digitization of documentation at the national level. JapanGov is the official website of the Japanese government, with the e-Gov site serving as a platform for access to e-government and the e-Stat site serving as a portal to official statistics. On October 1, 2014, DATA.GO.JP was launched as catalog of the government's open data.
In contrast to this, the NDL's FY2013-2014 survey revealed that 81.4%, or 6,743 of 8,286 documents published by prefectures and municipalities were collected in printed format. Of the 1,543 items that were not collected in print, just 342 items, or 22.2% of the total, were collected in digital format. The total percentage of documentation collected in either digital or and printed format was 85.5%, which is lower than the national level.
Today, only 6.8% of municipal governments utilize open data for official publications, but the amount of documentation published digitally can be expected to increase significantly as efforts to promote open data reach municipal government.
We expect that digital publication of official government documentation in Japan will continue to advance, which means that the sources providing access to such data, including the NDL website, will continue to diversify in the future.

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Information about digitization of major materials for international exchange

  • National Diet Library Digital Collections
    In this service, users may search for and browse digital materials which are collected and archived by the NDL. This database provides digital publications (books, periodicals, articles, etc.) which the NDL acquired and archived from the websites of Japanese ministries and agencies.
    Major publications such as white papers, which are also distributed as exchange materials, are accessible via this website. A list of publications which are accessible via the NDL Digital Collections is attached for your reference.
  • Web Archiving Project
    The NDL has conducted a large scale acquisition of websites of public organizations in Japan, including the Japanese government, since 2002. This project archives entire websites, including e-books, e-magazines and e-journals, and users are able to access information previously published by national and municipal organizations. Major publications such as white papers and official bulletins from prefectures were also acquired by WARP and archived in the NDL Digital Collections. Every website of public organizations from which data was acquired is included in WARP.
    If what you are looking for is not available in the NDL Digital Collections, please look for it in WARP.
  • NDL Search
    If what you are looking for cannot be found in either the NDL Digital Collections or WARP, please refer to the NDL Search. The NDL Search enables integrated search of about 100 databases including the NDL and other public libraries, archives, museums, institutes of academic research. It also provides data in RSS and OAI-PMH format.
    Research Navi is a platform for providing information to the general public. It introduces reference materials, websites, databases, information on related organizations, etc. in accordance with specific subjects or material groups.
  • The Government of Japan Official Website
    JapanGov is a portal site which started operation in November 2014. It provides a wide range of information from policy matters to daily information. Specifically, it provides collective information from the publicity materials of ministries and agencies. It also provides basic information about Japan, "We Are Tomodachi" (an official magazine of the government) and other government publications, collections of photos and videos related to Japan, tourist information, etc. Users may download "JapanGov App" (an official App of the government) for free.
  • e-Gov
    <http://www.e-gov.go.jp/> (in Japanese)
    e-Gov is a portal site for general administrative information. It is managed by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. Users may search for the content of laws (the Constitution, Laws, Cabinet Orders, Imperial Ordinances, Cabinet Office Ordinances, Ministerial Ordinances, etc.).
  • e-Stat
    e-Stat is a portal site for government statistics. Users may access various statistics, including the fundamental statistics produced by government ministries and agencies.
  • Data dot go dot jp
    Users may access data from ministries and agencies in open data format. Various datasets are registered and are free to download.

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