Home > About Us > Greetings from the Director General

Greetings from the Director General


Ms. Kurata

I am honored to have been appointed the Director General of the National Diet Library as of April 1 and would like to express my sincere gratitude for the continued support and cooperation received by the National Diet Library from all our stakeholders.

The National Diet Library's primary role is to serve as a parliamentary library that supports the legislative activities of Diet members working on behalf of their constituencies. At the same time, it also serves as Japan's only national library, whose mission is to ensure access to knowledge for all Japanese citizens.

Whether supporting Diet members or providing information to the general public, the National Diet Library's basic mission involves the construction of a knowledge infrastructure in Japan. Since its establishment in 1948, the National Diet Library has worked extensively to acquire and preserve a comprehensive collection of books, magazines, and newspapers as well as government publications, maps, and other materials published in Japan, primarily through a legal deposit system that operates with the understanding of all our stakeholders. Since 2000, we have also served as a digital library, which means that we digitize domestic publications as well as archive information acquired from the Internet. And based on Vision 2021–2025: The Digital Shift at the National Diet Library, we are currently expanding our digital collection and promoting universal access to materials that are difficult to obtain in the marketplace.

With the rapid advance of digitalization and other information technology, the distribution of knowledge and information, which in the past took place exclusively through printed media, has transformed to include e-books and e-magazines as well as information on the Internet. One major difference between printed media and digital media is that in the former, information is fixed, while in the latter, information is constantly updated and changed. And at this moment in time, there is no consensus on the correct way to preserve what are essentially dynamic digital media. Another issue is that it has become all too easy to disseminate disinformation because digital media can be easily duplicated and modified, especially considering the spread of generative AI, which is a topical subject these days.

The many printed media that thus far comprise the bulk of the National Diet Library's collections can serve as a foundation for verifying the reliability of information, and we are responsible for passing this cultural resource on to future generations. At the same time, we must also explore ways to construct a knowledge infrastructure for accommodating the rapidly changing media environment. Yet in building a knowledge infrastructure, it is not enough simply to acquire and preserve information. Information that is acquired but not put to good use loses half its significance. It is up to us to develop a system that is capable of providing access to information for those who need it, particularly with regard to developing a system in which economic, physical, and other social factors do not hinder access to knowledge. The construction of a knowledge infrastructure also means that we must foster an environment in which various people are able to continue producing information and cultural resources.

The construction of such a knowledge infrastructure is not just full of challenges but is a grand dream that has no end. Still, I am happy to report that all of us at the National Diet Library are determined to continue to work tirelessly toward this ideal. Once again, thank you all for your continued guidance and encouragement.

April 2024
Director General of the National Diet Library

To the head of this page