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Extended Use (Secondary Use) of Official Statistics

Secondary use system of official statistical data in Japan

 Official statistics are characterized as an information infrastructure used throughout the whole society.
 To further increase the use of statistics as the information infrastructure of society while protecting the confidentiality of information, the Statistics Act stipulates a statistical data usage system that enables us to create and provide new tabulations based on existing questionnaire information, or to provide questionnaire information whose anonymity is protected in response to requests from the public, whenever such data is deemed to contribute to the development of academic research and advanced education, or to contribute to the promotion of the benefits of our country as a member of the international community, and the sound development of the international economic community.

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Service outline

 There are two kinds of services as follows (launched in April 2009 or later):

Custom-made tabulation

 The custom-made tabulation service allows research agencies to receive a request from an applicant, and to create and provide tabulations of new statistics at the request of the applicant using questionnaire data obtained in existing statistical surveys.
 As a specific example of the service, when using the custom-made tabulation service for “Population Census” offered by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, you can entrust a research agency (in the case of data on “Population Census”, the National Statistics Center, which is entrusted to carry out administrative work by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications as the research agency), to create tabulations of statistics using the following survey items, and can obtain the tabulation results.

Survey items of Population Census (surveyed in 2005)

Sex, age, month of birth, relationship to household head, marital status, nationality, type of household, family type, number of household members, number of related members, presence or absence of children, number of children, age of children, type of dwelling, tenure of dwelling, type of building, area of floor space of dwelling, workforce status, employment status, working hours, employment position, kind of business (industry), occupation, socio-economic group, economic type of household, commuting status of household members, number of commuting employed persons and persons attending schools, kind of city planning area, place of work or location of school, place of residence

Provision of anonymized data

 The anonymized data provision service aims to provide (lend) applicants who have applied for use of data with questionnaire data obtained from statistical surveys as anonymized data, which was processed so that no survey objects can be identified (anonymization processing: not only deleting information that allows for direct identification of individuals, such as name, but also categorizing information more broadly by integrating various detailed categories for regions and attributes, and deleting distinguishing data).
 Applicants can produce new statistics using the anonymized data. For example, with regard to the National Survey of Family Income and Expenditure, whose anonymized data is provided by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, data is expected to be utilized for diverse advanced analysis and studies on the actual socioeconomic situation in Japan through analysis of the elderly’s income and consumption behavior. Similarly, the Employment Status Survey is expected to be utilized for different kinds of analysis, such as analysis of the social impact of increase in non-regular employment, and analysis of the actual situation of employment of young people.

 Case examples of studies and analysis using the above custom-made tabulation and anonymized data are shown on the website of the National Statistics Center.

Results of Secondary Use (National Statistics Center) (available only in Japanese)別ウィンドウで開きます

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Conditions of application required for users

 To ensure a certain level of public interest based on the purpose of the Statistics Act, the following conditions are imposed on those who wish to use the above services.
 Moreover, it is prohibited to use the custom-made tabulation results and anonymized data provided for any purpose other than those specified in the application submitted, or to provide anonymized data to any third party. If a user has violated the above prohibitions, the user shall be given a penalty (in the case of provision of anonymized data, the user may be subject to criminal punishment pursuant to the provisions of the Penal Code).

Custom-made tabulation

 In principle, statistical products shall be provided only to those whose purpose of using data is to “contribute to the development of academic research” or “contribute to the development of advanced education”. In the case of those whose purpose of application is to “contribute to the development of academic research”, they should satisfy the following two requirements:
   (1) The direct purpose should be to use statistical products for academic research.
   (2) The outcome of academic research obtained using statistical products should be published.
 In the case of those whose purpose of application is to “contribute to the development of advanced education”, they should satisfy the following two requirements:
   (1) The direct purpose should be to use statistical products for education in a university or technical college accredited based on the provisions of Article 1 of the School Education Act (Act No. 26 of 1947).
   (2) The content of education conducted using statistical products should be published.

Provision of anonymized data

 In principle, anonymized data shall be provided only to those whose purpose of using data is to “contribute to the development of academic research” or “contribute to the development of advanced education”, or “contribute to the promotion of the benefits of our country as a member of the international community and the sound development of the international economic community”.
 However, academic research that focuses on individuals like individual case studies shall not be included.
 In the case of those whose purpose of application is to “contribute to the development of academic research”, they should satisfy the following four requirements:
   (1) Anonymized data should be used only for production, etc., of statistics.
   (2)The direct purpose should be to use anonymized data for academic research.
   (3) The outcome of academic research obtained using anonymized data should be published.
   (4) Necessary measures should be taken to manage anonymized data properly.
 In the case of those whose purpose of application is to “contribute to the development of advanced education”, they should satisfy the following four requirements:
   (1) Anonymized data should be used only for production, etc., of statistics.
   (2) Necessary measures should be taken to manage anonymized data properly.
   (3) The direct purpose should be to use anonymized data for education in a university or technical college accredited based on the provisions of Article 1 of the School Education Act.
   (4) The content of education conducted using anonymized data should be published.

* In the case of those whose purpose of application is to “contribute to the promotion of the benefits of our country as a member of the international community and the sound development of international economic community”, they should satisfy specific requirements. Please contact us.

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Typical procedure flow

 The typical procedure flow for creation and provision of custom-made tabulation data and provision of anonymized data is shown in the chart below.

Custom-made tabulation

Typical procedure flow Custom-made tabulation


Provision of anonymized data

Typical procedure flow Provision of anonymized data

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Standard use fees

 Applicants are required to pay a usage fee pertaining to production/provision of custom-made tabulation data or provision of anonymized data.
 The amount of the fees is determined by the Enforcement Order the Statistics Act別ウィンドウで開きます (available only in Japanese), and it reflects (1) cost of work done, (2) cost of data storage media, (3) cost of delivery, and (4) particular charges. Costs vary according to the amount of work required to produce the statistical data to be provided. Standard fees are shown below.

Custom-made tabulation

 The use fee is the sum of the costs listed in the following items (1)-(4). A notification of the amount of the fees will be given by an agency conducting tabulation when approval of application is notified. After confirming the amount of fee notified, applicants may make a final decision as to whether they should entrust the agency to conduct custom-made tabulations.

  (1) 5,900 yen per labor hour

  (2) 10 yen per sheet of paper
        50 yen per FD
      100 yen per CD-R
      120 yen per DVD-R

  (3) Postage charges

  (4) Particular charges if necessary (if there are special provisions, a notification will be given by an agency conducting tabulation).

 For those who receive data through e-mail, costs (2) and (3) are not charged. For those who receive data at the counter, costs (3) are not charged.

Provision of anonymized data

 The use fee is the sum of the costs listed in the following items (1)-(3). A notification of the amount of fee will be given by an agency providing data when the approval of application is notified. After confirming the amount of fee notified, applicants may make a final decision as to whether they should request the agency to provide anonymized data.

  (1) 1,850 yen per application and 8,500 yen per anonymized data file

  (2) 50 yen per FD
      100 yen per CD-R
      120 yen per DVD-R

  (3) Postage charges (in view of information security management, anonymized data cannot be delivered through e-mail)

 The total amount of fee is determined before custom-made tabulation is conducted, or before anonymized data is provided. It shall be paid in advance as follows:
- In the case of applying to a national administrative agency, it shall be paid by revenue stamp.
- In the case of applying to an incorporated administrative agency, such as the National Statistics Center, it shall be paid in cash through bank transfer, etc.

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Opinions about the secondary use system

 The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has conducted a “Questionnaire on Needs for Statistics” to accept complaints, opinions and requests on general matters concerning the statistical system, as well as opinions on the secondary use system.
 Please feel free to participate in completing a questionnaire and respond with opinions on services which you expect to use soon, such as the kinds of custom-made tabulation and the content of anonymized data.

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Relationships between questionnaire information and the Personal Information Protection Act

 Personal information contained in questionnaire information obtained from fundamental and general statistical surveys shall be excluded from application of the provisions of the “Act on the Protection of Personal Information Held by Administrative Organs (Act No. 58 of 2003)”, and the “Act on the Protection of Personal Information Held by Independent Administrative Agencies, etc. (Act No. 59 of 2003)” (Article 52 of the Statistics Act).
 The above exclusion is based on the fact that Articles 39-43 of the Statistics Act ensures the protection of questionnaire information, etc., and the use or provision of personal information collected by statistical surveys in such a way that individual respondents cannot be identified after tabulating questionnaire results.
 When producing anonymized data, we have taken all possible means to prevent personal information from leaking out, by deleting the part containing personal information, and by anonymizing data so that individual respondents cannot be identified indirectly from the respective data.
 In addition, those who receive anonymized data are required to manage the anonymized data appropriately, as is the case with handling of questionnaire information based on the Statistics Act.

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Contact for inquiries

 For inquiries, opinions, or requests about governmental efforts for secondary use of statistical survey results, please contact us in Japanese or English. Please note that it may take time to give a reply for inquiries in English.

 Advanced Data Use Statistical Planning Division, Office of Director-General for Policy Planning on Statistical Standards, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC), Government of Japan
   Tel: 03-5273-1019
   Fax: 03-5273-1181
   E-mail: s-2jiriyou@soumu.go.jp

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