Home > Information Related to the National Diet > Publications in English

Publications in English

English translations of Research papers and legal analysis

The Research and Legislative Reference Bureau (RLRB) prepares research papers on government policy and legal analysis of potential political issues exclusively at the request of the National Diet of Japan. The RLRB also provides English translations of selected materials on Japanese society, economics, legislation, and other issues for the benefit of research analysts in parliamentary libraries throughout the world.

Research Materials in English

SAKATA Kazuko, "An Introduction to Diversity (PDF: 169KB)," Research Materials, 2018e-1, Research and Legislative Reference Bureau, National Diet Library, 2018. (Translated from "Building a Society of Diversity: Interdisciplinary Research Project," Research Materials, 2016-3, 2017, pp. 1-14.)

The RLRB conducted an Interdisciplinary Research Project in 2016 entitled Building a Society of Diversity. A truly diverse society respects individual differences in nationality, age, religion, ability, gender, or sexual orientation gender. Thus, everyone in such a society would have the opportunity to work actively, to succeed in their chosen role, and to enjoy their life. This paper examines the spread of diversity throughout Japan and the United States and provides an overview of the characteristics, effects, and problems of diversity as well as an outline of each article on the Interdisciplinary Research Project published in 2016, which included articles on social inclusion, diversity policy in Germany, comprehensive anti-discrimination laws in major countries, LGBT, women's participation in politics, protecting the right of persons with disabilities to vote, public transportation, government finances, Japanese corporations, and agriculture and rural communities.

KOBAYASHI Shinichi, "The Physician-Scientist Problem: A Human Resources Crisis in Life Science Research (PDF: 646KB)," Research Materials, 2018e-2, Research and Legislative Reference Bureau, National Diet Library, 2018. (Translated from "Aspects in Life Sciences: Science and Technology Research Project," Research Materials, 2015-3, pp. 65–94.)

The RLRB conducted a Science and Technology Research Project in 2015 entitled Aspects in Life Science. The life sciences are branches of science and technology that involve the study of living organisms. Public interest in the life sciences is high, in large part because of its fundamental relevance to human life and its impact on many facets of our daily lives through technologies such as gene manipulation, genetic modification of crops, regenerative medicine, and drug development. This article examines the challenges faced by life scientists in Japan, including a severe shortage of physician scientists participating in life-science research, and discusses the present system for training doctors and researchers as well as the need to establish new guidelines for scientific training.

YAMADA Toshiyuki, "Consideration about Allowing Abdication in the Enactment Processes of the Present Japanese System (PDF: 229KB)," Research Materials, 2018e-3, Tokyo: Research and Legislative Reference Bureau, National Diet Library, 2018. (Translated from ISSUE BRIEF, No. 958, 2017.4.18.)

This article examines how the adoption of European laws during the Meiji period eventually resulted in failure to provide measures for the abdication of and succession from a living Emperor. It also discusses rules related to abdication in the Imperial Household Law of 1889 and the legislative process that created the Imperial Household Law of 1947.

OMORI Kengo, "Fiscal Cost to Exit Monetary Easing of the Bank of Japan (PDF: 367KB)," Research Materials, 2018e-4, Research and Legislative Reference Bureau, National Diet Library, 2018. (Translated from ISSUE BRIEF, No. 971, 2017.7.27.)

In 2013, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) introduced measures for quantitative and qualitative monetary easing and launched a large-scale asset purchase program, which resulted in a substantial expansion of the BOJ's balance sheet, to the extent that it nearly matches Japan's gross domestic product. This article discusses concerns that periods of money tightening could result in financial deterioration of the BOJ and explores exit strategies designed to achieve financial stability.

YAMAMOTO Kentaro, "Development of Japan's Security Legislation and Public Opinion after World War II (PDF: 432KB)," Research Materials, 2018e-5, Research and Legislative Reference Bureau, National Diet Library, 2018. (Translated from The Reference, No. 783, 2016.4, pp. 57–85.)

Insofar as national security is a major policy issue, it is often the subject of extensive deliberation in the Diet. This article examines shifts in public opinion according to polls conducted by Japanese newspapers during major events related to security policy in postwar Japan, including establishment of the Self-Defense Forces during the early 1950s, revision of the Japan-US Security Treaty in the 1960s, overseas deployment of the SDF in the 1990s and 2000s, the right of collective self-defense in 2015, and the passing of security-related laws in 2015.

KAMAKURA Haruko, "Japan's Public Debt: Facing an Ageing and Shrinking Population (PDF: 425KB)," Research Materials, 2018e-6, Research and Legislative Reference Bureau, National Diet Library, 2018.

Japan's social security expenses have increased significantly due to low economic growth, an expanding budget deficit, and a rapidly aging population. This article provides an overview of fluctuations in the budget deficit and discusses Government initiatives for reducing it, including comprehensive reform of the taxation and social security systems, and was written by analysts from the RLRB's financial affairs research service who provide daily monetary policy analysis to Diet members.

Other publications in English

The following publications are English translations by other institutions of articles originally written in Japanese by RLRB analysts. These reports are available from the websites of other institutions by clicking the links provided below.

Other publications in English

TAKAMINE Yasuyo, "JAPAN (PDF: 1.6MB)," EPTA, Shaping the Future of Mobility: Mobility Pricing in Europe and beyond, 2017.10, pp.39-42.

The RLRB joined the European Parliamentary Technology Assessment (EPTA) as an associate member to enhance its ability to acquire information on science and technology information. When the EPTA conducted research on mobility pricing in its member countries, the RLRB was responsible for writing the report on Japan. (English version available by clicking the above link.) The report examines road price planning by local governments in Japan, which tend to rely on road improvements and other structural measures rather than pricing as a measure to ease traffic congestion.

Research and Legislative Reference Bureau Publications

ISSUE BRIEF (published irregularly)

ISSUE BRIEF is a serial publication of briefing articles on relevant policy topics. Each issue comprises roughly 10 pages of detailed briefs on specific topics.

The Reference (published monthly)

The Reference is the RLRB's monthly research journal, featuring medium- to long-term political and legal analysis of government policy, state affairs, and historical studies as well as comparative studies of Japanese and foreign systems.

Foreign Legislation (published monthly and quarterly)

Foreign Legislation features Japanese translations of foreign laws, explanation of the background to foreign legislation, and concise information on foreign legislative activities. The articles are prepared in response to requests from Diet members for an overview of the legislative practices in major countries. The monthly edition contains briefing articles on legislative activities in other countries, while the quarterly edition contains translations of relevant laws and analysis of legislative resources in foreign countries.

Research Materials (published irregularly)

Research Materials is a monograph series published irregularly with reports on interdisciplinary research, science and technology research projects, and basic information series.

Interdisciplinary research comprises a customized research report of tightly focused political issues from a medium- to long-term perspective and is prepared by NDL analysts in cooperation with independent researchers. Subject matter from recent issues includes the European Union, diversity, the Olympics and Paralympics, and the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Science and technology research projects provide a comprehensive description of advanced science and technology policy issues, while introducing current trends, social implications and their impact on daily life, and future tasks of legislation. Subject matter from recent issues includes autonomous driving technology, artificial intelligence and robotics, trends in work and employment, data-driven society, space policies, and life sciences.

Basic information series provide Diet members with fundamental information on political issues from diverse points of view. Subject matter from recent issues includes rules of procedure of the French National Assembly, value-added taxes in foreign countries, arguments on constitutional review, and the German Civil Code.