Home > Director-General for Policy Planning (Statistical Standards) > Role of the Director-General for Policy Planning (Statistical Standards)

Role of the Director-General for Policy Planning (Statistical Standards)

1. Organization and functions of the Office of the Director-General for Policy Planning

2. Statistics Act

3. Statistics Commission

4. Overview of Master Plan Concerning the Development of Official Statisticss

5. Examining plans and budgets for censuses and statistical surveys

6. Establishing and improving statistical standards

7. Compiling national Input-Output Tables

8. Managing the local government statistical system

9. Promoting the public understanding of statistics

10. Coordinating international statistical affairs


1. Organization and functions of the Office of the Director-General for Policy Planning

 The statistical system of the Japanese government is decentralized, in that, while the Bureau conducts fundamental censuses and statistical surveys, other relevant ministries produce statistics for their own policy purposes. Under this decentralized system it is generally difficult to maintain consistency in statistical activities among different ministries, and to avoid duplication in the compilation of statistics. Therefore, the Director-General for Policy Planning is responsible for coordinating the statistical activities of different ministries.

 The responsibilities of the Director-General for Policy Planning are stipulated in the Law to Establish the MIC and the Cabinet Order on the Organization of the MIC. Under Article 14 of the Cabinet Order, the responsibilities of the Director-General for Policy Planning are defined as follows:

(a) To plan fundamental matters for improving and developing statistics and the statistical system,

(b) To examine statistical survey plans for approval, establish a system of statistical standards, and coordinate statistical affairs,

(c) To plan training programs and administer qualifying examinations for statistical officials,

(d) To coordinate international statistical affairs, and

(e) To develop and improve statistics, with the exception of those handled by the Bureau and other ministries.

 The Director for Statistical Planning, three Directors for Statistical Clearance, and the Director for International Statistical Affairs work under the Director-General for Policy Planning.

Organization of the Office of the Director-General for
Policy Planning (Statistical Standards)

Organization of the Office of the Director-General for Policy Planning (Statistical Standards)

 The responsibilities of the Directors are stipulated under Article 120 of the Cabinet Order on the Organization of the MIC as follows:

(1) Director for Statistical Planning
 The Director for Statistical Planning is in charge of the government-wide coordination of statistical activities, based on the Statistics Act. Duties include fundamental planning related to improving and developing statistics and the statistical system, planning statistical training programs and qualifying examinations for statistical personnel, and managing and funding statistical personnel at local governments.

(2) Directors for Statistical Clearance
 The respective duties of the three Directors for Statistical Clearance are as follows:

(a) Examining, clearing, and coordinating statistical surveys pertaining to mining and manufacturing, construction, transportation, communications, enterprises, labour, finance, family income and expenditure, housing, etc.

(b) Examining, clearing, and coordinating statistical surveys pertaining to population, agriculture, forestry and fisheries, social welfare, culture, education, etc.

(c) Coordinating the compilation of national Input-Output tables and the establishment of statistical classifications such as the Japan Standard Industrial Classification, etc.

(3) Director for International Statistical Affairs
 The Director for International Statistical Affairs is in charge of with the government-wide coordination of international statistical affairs involving Japan. For example, the Director serves as a liaison for exchanges of major statistical information with international organizations including the United Nations (UN), the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the International Labour Organization (ILO) as well as the statistical offices of foreign governments and the ISI; prepares views and comments for the government of Japan to be submitted to international conferences; and participates in the International Comparison Program (ICP). The Director also collects and disseminates statistical information obtained from other countries. The Director for International Training Cooperation serves the Director for International Statistical Affairs, and cooperates in providing statistical training at the Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific (SIAP).

Top of this chapter

2. Statistics Act

 The new Statistics Act came into effect in Japan in April 2009. It was thoroughly revised and promulgated in May 2007, which was the first time since its enforcement sixty years ago. The aim of the Act is to promote systematic and efficient development of official statistics: important information to assist the public in making rational decisions, and to ensure the usefulness thereof through specifying basic matters concerning the production and provision of official statistics, and thereby to contribute to the sound development of the national economy and enhancement of the living standards of the citizens.

 The summary of the new Statistics Act is the following.

Summary of the Statistics Act

(1) To develop official statistics more systematically
 The Statistics Act covers not only statistics compiled from censuses and statistical surveys (survey statistics), but also those compiled from administrative data (statistics derived from administrative records) and those processed from other statistics (processed statistics).

(a) Master Plan
 The Master Plan was established and approved by the Cabinet to develop official statistics in a comprehensive and systematic manner. Its draft has been deliberated on by the Statistics Commission, and undergone a public comment procedure.

(b) Fundamental Statistics
 Important statistics, including not only survey statistics such as the Population Census, but also processed statistics such as the National Accounts and statistics derived from administrative records, compiled by administrative organs, are identified as Fundamental Statistics and developed systematically under the Master Plan.

(c) Statistics compiled by administrative organs
 Statistics compiled by national administrative organs undergo individual clearance through the Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications with a view to reducing the reporting burden by eliminating duplication among statistical surveys, etc.

(2) To enable more effective use of official statistics
 Regulations are established for the provision of statistics compiled on a tailor-made aggregation basis, and for the provision of anonymous micro data (individual records from anonymous respondents) for academic and research purposes.

(3) To strengthen confidentiality protection
(a) Penalties are strengthened for those who use/provide information collected through censuses and statistical surveys for purposes other than compiling statistics and who violate confidentiality clauses.

(b) A regulation is set out so that the same penalties are applied to private contractors to keep pace with increased outsourcing.

(c) It is prohibited to obtain information by misleading indications or explanations for a disguised fundamental census or statistical survey. Violators may be fined one million yen or imprisoned for two years or less.

(4) To establish the Statistics Commission
 The Statistics Commission is set up in the Cabinet Office as a technical and neutral organization for research and deliberation, which consists of up to 13 learned and experienced experts. The Commission plays a central role in the systematic development of official statistics by researching and deliberating on a draft Master Plan and Fundamental Statistics, and gives advice to the ministers concerned.

Top of this chapter

3. Statistics Commission

 The Statistics Commission is set up in the Cabinet Office. It is charged with researching and deliberating important matters related to developing official statistics systematically in order to discuss the Master Plan and Fundamental Statistics, and give advice to the ministers concerned.

Top of this chapter

4. Overview of Master Plan Concerning the Development of Official Statistics

 Based on Article 4 of the Statistics Act (Act No. 53 of 2007), the Master Plan Concerning the Development of Official Statistics was established and apporoved by the Cabinet in March 2009, and has also been propelled since the beginning of FY 2009 to promote comprehensive and systematic measures for the development of official statistics.

 In order to ensure effectiveness of the Master Plan, a “Master Plan Promotion Committee” was established in April 2009 comprising the heads of the statistical offices of all ministries, and each office and ministry promotes the measures described in the Master Plan in a unified manner.

 The summary of the Master Plan ia as follows:

(1) Fundamental policy regarding measures for compiling Official Statistics

(1)-1 Role of Official Statistics
 Considering official statistics are important information to assist the public in making rational decisions, it is necessary that official statistics be compiled as information resources that can be used by a broad spectrum of society.

(1)-2 Basic perspectives in designing measures
 Ensuring the Usefulness of Statistics” is an important objective in developing statistics. The following four perspectives are essential to improve the usefulness of statistics.

(a) Systematic development of statistics

(b) Responses to socio-economic changes

(c) Effective use of statistical data

(d) Efficient production of statistics, and effective use of statistical resources

Top of this chapter

(2) Comprehensive and systematic measures in the development of Official Statistics

(2)-1 Development of “fundamental statistics” as the core of statistical systems
 To designate statistics that can serve as the core for systematic development of official statistics, including processed statistics and survey statistics, as “fundamental statistics,” and improve the usefulness of such statistics.
  • To establish the Economic Census that enables a comprehensive understanding of economic activities in all industries at the same point in time by reorganizing the existing large-scale censuses and statistical surveys. Based on the Economic Census, to compile industrial statistics more systematically and establish estimation methods for National Accounts.
  • To integrate statistics on the production activities of the manufacturing industry, currently compiled by 4 different ministries, into one set of statistics.

(2)-2 Ensuring and improving the consistency and international compatibility of statistics
   < Compilation of National Accounts, and strengthening the correlations between National Accounts and primary statistics >
  • To strengthen the correlations between National Accounts and Input-Output Tables, and ensure their consistency
  • To review selection of fundamental statistics used in estimating National Accounts and estimation methods
   < Construction and utilization of a business register (the Establishment Frame Database) >
  • To maintain accurate population information based on the Economic Census and use of administrative records
  • To review production of useful statistics by combining results of various statistics and administrative records
   < Compilation of comprehensive statistics on welfare and social security >
  • To review the consistency of statistics on social security benefits with various international standards
   < Establishment of statistical standards >
  • To establish statistical standards such as the Japan Standard Industrial Classification, and the Classification of Diseases, Injuries and Causes of Death, and review the need to revise such standards approximately 5 years after their introduction or revision

(2)-3 Compilation of statistics in response to needs due to socio-economic changes
   < Compilation of statistics on service activities >
  • To compile statistics to comprehend the current state of sophisticated information and communication services across ministries
  • To compile statistics on intellectual property activities and use them in a sophisticated manner.
   < Compilation of statistics in response to the low birthrate and aging population, and the work-life balance >
  • To review the survey on low birthrates; including marital status, timing for marriage, and the number of children by large-scale sample surveys
  • To review surveys covering the topics in this field in order to analyze the relationships between work (status of people starting and leaving jobs, factors preventing one from starting work, etc.), marriage, childbirth, raising children, and long-term care, etc., in detail
   < Phased development of statistics on environment >
  • To enhance statistical data on the emission and absorption of greenhouse gases, and develop statistics on the impact of climate change
  • To promote earlier release of preliminary figures for energy statistics
   < Compilation of tourism statistics >
  • To enhance major tourism statistics, and promote the compilation of tourism statistics that can be compared across prefectures by formulating common standards
   < Compilation of labor statistics in response to changes in corporate activities and diverse ways of working, etc. >
  • To promote approaches to initiate statistical surveys which reveal the actual situation of non-regular employment every year
  • To develop indicators for creating and terminating jobs in order to reveal the impact on employment due to the opening or closure of establishments

Top of this chapter

(3) Necessary matters for Promoting the Compilation of Official Statistics

(3)-1 Effective production of statistics
   < Use of administrative records >
  • To review the use of data from financial statement reports, and information regarding establishments to which labor and employment insurance are applied
  • To require preliminary surveys and reviews which verify whether administrative records are available for statistical surveys or not. This requirment should be included when plans for implementing the surveys are formulated
   < Participation of private enterprises >
  • To promote active participation of private enterprises in the industrial fields where they have superior know-how and resources
  • To develop an environment for promoting participation of private enterprises more appropriately and effectively by revising guidelines for commissioning statistical surveys of them
(3)-2 Ensuring effective use of statistical resources
  • To secure the statistical resources necessary for implementing the Master Plan, and  involve researchers and core personnel in order to resolve issues of National Accounts in particular
  • To implement multifaceted measures, such as reviewing statistical surveys via local governments, standardizing the amount of work, and streamlining survey affairs, etc.
(3)-3 Responses to socio-economic changes
  • To reflect the needs of users of statistics, and compile and improve statistics by exchanging opinions with them
  • To review statistics by evaluating their quality, and promote more efficient methods for producing them
  • To implement public and educational activities effectively in order to gain public understanding of statistics
(3)-4 Promotion of effective use of statistical data
  • To initiate the timely production and provision of anonymized data and tailor-made tabulations that were recently introduced, and expand the coverage of available statistical surveys in a phased manner
(3)-5 Others   
  • To promote the sharing and provision of statistical data across ministries by using the Inter-Ministry Information System for Official Statistics (IMISOS)
  • To promote further transparency in the process of producing statistics in order to ensure neutrality in statistics

Top of this chapter

(4) Promotion and evaluation of the Master Plan

  • To organize a “Master Plan Promotion Committee,” and promote the Master Plan by the government as a whole
  • To evaluate and verify the situation of approaches to the implementation of the Master Plan in each ministry, and advise improvements by the Statistics Commission

Top of this chapter

5. Examining plans and budgets for censuses and statistical surveys

 Further, to coordinate the statistics and statistical activities of the government as a whole based on the Master Plan, the Director-General for Policy Planning examines the specific plans for all statistical surveys, and whenever necessary may advise the governmental organizations concerned to make improvements to these plans. This examination is carried out in two situations: when a detailed plan for conducting a statistical survey is submitted by the governmental organization concerned to obtain approval from the Minister, or when budgetary requests are submitted for conducting statistical surveys over the next fiscal year. How the examination by the Director-General for Policy Planning in both these situations proceeds is described in detail below.

Examination when a survey plan is submitted to the Minister for approval
In accordance with the provisions of the Statistics Act, any governmental organization intending to conduct a census or survey must submit a plan for the survey to the Minister. The plan is then examined by the Director-General for Policy Planning.

 To conduct a fundamental statistical survey, the governmental organization planning the survey must seek approval from the Minister in advance on the various aspects stipulated by the Act. Such aspects include the purpose of the survey, contents, coverage, date and method, tabulation plan, date and format for releasing the results, and estimated cost. In principle, the Minister must consult with the Statistics Commission when a judgment is made as to whether to give approval or not.

Examination of statistical budgets
When the budget proposals of all the governmental organizations for statistical surveys and related activities for the following fiscal year have been submitted to the Ministry of Finance, the Director-General for Policy Planning examines them from the viewpoint of overall cross-sectional coordination, necessity, and methodological adequacy, and submits its conclusions to the Ministry of Finance to support the Ministry as it prepares a draft budget.

Top of this chapter

6. Establishing and improving statistical standards

 To ensure the accuracy and objectivity of statistics, and promote comparability and the effective use of statistics, four standard statistical classifications have been established in Japan.

 They are as follows:
(a) The Japan Standard Industrial Classification
(Established in 1949, with the 12th revision dating back to 2007 now in force)
(b) The Japan Standard Classification of Occupations
(Established in 1960, with the 5th revision dating back to 2009 now in force)
(c) The Japan Standard Commodity Classification
(Established in 1950, with the 5th revision dating back to 1990 now in force)
(d) The Classification of Diseases, Injuries and Causes of Death
(Established in 1951, with the 4th revision dating back to 1994 now in force)

 The Japan Standard Industrial Classification is determined after consulting with the Statistics Commission, and promulgated by the Minister. The classifications of the Japan Standard Classification of Occupations and Japan Standard Commodity Classification are determined by the Minister after consulting with experts. The Classification of Diseases, Injuries and Causes of Death is drafted by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, and determined by the Minister.

 When governmental organizations publish the results of fundamental statistical surveys, they are obliged to use the Japan Standard Industrial Classification and the Classification of Diseases, Injuries and Causes of Death, as stipulated by the Cabinet Order Promulgating the Two Classifications (Cabinet Order No. 127 of 1951). 

Top of this chapter

7. Compiling national Input-Output Tables

 Input-Output Tables systematically present and clarify all the economic activities being performed in a single country, showing how goods and services produced by a certain industry in a given year are distributed among the industry itself, other industries, households, etc., and presenting the results in a matrix (row and column) format. It is generally accepted that input-output tables are useful and important for economic and industrial structural analyses, and economic projections. Consequently, they are now compiled in more than 80 countries.

 Input-Output Tables for Japan have been compiled every five years since 1955 in a joint program involving governmental organizations. The present members of the joint program are the MIC (coordinator), the Cabinet Office, the Financial Services Agency, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, and the Ministry of Environment.

 The 2005 Input-Output Tables are the latest, the preliminary report was published in August 2008, and the final count report was published in March 2009. Linked Input-Output Tables are also compiled to allow comparison over time. The 1995-2000-2005 linked Input-Output Tables are the most recent, and were published in March 2010.

Top of this chapter

8. Managing the local government statistical system

 Each prefecture of Japan has its own statistics division, which is responsible for the fieldwork associated with large-scale censuses and statistical surveys carried out by the central government, such as the Population Census, the Establishment and Enterprise Census〔1947-2006〕, and the Census of Manufacturers. The statistics divisions of the prefectural governments handle the tasks entrusted to them by the Cabinet Office, the MIC, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in an integrated way. The respective ministries supply the funds required for the fieldwork of censuses and statistical surveys.

 The statistics division in each prefecture has its own personnel exclusively engaged in statistical affairs. The number of such personnel assigned to each prefecture is determined by the Director-General for Policy Planning in accordance with workload. The total number of such statistical personnel in fiscal year 2010 was 1,956. Remuneration of these personnel and other associated expenses are subsidized by the Director-General for Policy Planning as the Expenses Entrusted to Local Governments for Statistical Survey Affairs, amounting to around 11.6 billion yen for fiscal year 2010. The number of such personnel in prefectural statistics divisions has been reduced in line with a steady movement toward rationalization in the central government, and the personnel reduction plans of successive administrations.

 For large-scale censuses and statistical surveys, municipalities (cities, towns and villages) are involved in fieldwork under the guidance of the prefectural statistics divisions. Of the 1,747 municipalities (including the23 wards that make up the center of Tokyo), only 13 cities had an independent division specializing in statistics as of April 2010. In other municipalities, the divisions in charge of general affairs, finance, planning, public relations, regional development, commerce and industry, tourism, etc. also engage in statistical work. The number of personnel engaged in statistical work in the municipalities totaled 8,634 as of April 2010. Of these, only 1,774 were exclusively engaged in statistical work, with the remaining 6,860 also being involved in other forms of work. The expenses for maintaining statistical personnel in municipalities are covered by grants from the Local Allocation Tax System of central government.

Top of this chapter

9. Promoting the public understanding of statistics

 The Director-General for Policy Planning carries out activities to deepen the general public’s interest in and understanding of the importance of statistics, and to obtain greater public cooperation in carrying out government statistical surveys. One such effort has been the introduction of Statistics Day, which the government in 1973 decided would be observed on October 18.

 This date was selected to commemorate the day in 1870 when a Dajokan Fukoku (corresponding to a Cabinet Order today) was promulgated concerning the “Table of Products by Prefecture,” the first modern statistical table in Japanese history. (This date was September 24, 1870 in the old lunar calendar, and corresponds to October 18 in the current solar calendar.)

 The Cabinet agreed that a variety of events promoting statistical knowledge and understanding should be held nationwide on and around Statistics Day every year. Therefore, the ministries of the central government, local governments and other related organizations present awards to persons who perform meritorious statistical services, hold or sponsor lectures and exhibitions, and engage in a variety of other initiatives to mark the occasion. The Director-General for Policy Planning produces and displays thousands of posters advertising Statistics Day, and supports various events, including statistical conventions. Other major events in which the Director-General for Policy Planning is involved are:

(a) Symposium on Official Statistics by Academicians and Practitioners
Statistical academicians and statistical practitioners (those engaged in producing statistics in national and local governments, as well as users of statistics in governmental organizations, private companies, and other bodies) gather every year to exchange views on issues confronting the field of official statistics, and to promote the development and improvement of the official statistical system in Japan.

(b) The award for meritorious statistical services, presented by the Minister
 This award is presented at the Symposium.

(c) Display of posters for Statistics Day
The public has been invited to contribute slogans for these posters since fiscal year 1992, with the best slogan being used on the 60,000 Statistics Day posters displayed nationwid.

(d) Support for the National Competition of Graphic Statistics
Excellent work is recognized each year by the Minister’s Special Award at the Symposium.

(e) Publicity through newspapers, publications, etc.

Top of this chapter

10. Coordinating international statistical affairs

 The Director-General for Policy Planning, acting as a liaison officer, is responsible for the comprehensive coordination of the international statistical affairs of the entire government.

(1) Activities related to international statistical conferences


   The Director-General for Policy Planning performs the coordination in the government necessary for international statistical conferences. This is done by compiling the official comments of the government extending over the jurisdictions of several ministries for international meetings, by being actively involved in the conferences, and hence making significant contributions to international statistical activities. The following are the main statistical conferences the Director-General for Policy Planning participates in regularly:


(a) United Nations (UN)
 Japan has been one of four member countries in the Asian region of the UN Statistical Commission since 1962 (except for the period from 1970 to 1972). The Office of the Director-General for Policy Planning (referred to as “the Office” hereinafter), representing the Japanese government, contributes to the considerations in the sessions of the Statistical Commission (held annually). The Office also participates in other UN meetings and seminars dealing with inter-ministerial issues such as climate change and financial crises.

(b) United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP)
 As a member of UNESCAP, the Office participates in the Commission sessions (held annually) and the sessions of the Committee on Statistics (held biennially).

(c) United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
 The Office participates as an observer in plenary sessions of the Conference of European Statisticians of the UNECE (held annually).

(d) Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
 As a member of the OECD, the Office participates in the sessions of the Committee on Statistics and Statistical Policy (CSSP) (held annually). The Office also participates in other meetings and seminars related to its interest organized or co-organized by the OECD.

(e) International Statistical Institute (ISI)
 The Director-General for Policy Planning is an Ex-officio Member of the ISI. The Office participates in biennial ISI sessions and takes appropriate roles such as a paper presenter and chairperson. The Office hosted the ISI 19th session in 1930, the 32nd in 1960, and the 46th in 1987.

 As an institutional member of the International Association for Official Statistics (IAOS), which is a section of ISI, the Office also participates in conferences and seminars of its interest organized by the IAOS.


Top of this chapter


(2) Participation in international statistical activities

 The Director-General for Policy Planning participates in the following international statistical activities as the coordinator of the official statistics of Japan. The Office prepares the necessary data and information for these activities with the cooperation of each statistics-producing organization, and participates in international meetings in connection with the activities when requested.


(a) International Comparison Program (ICP)
 The ICP is an international project that was launched in 1969 to make a substantial comparison of Gross Domestic Products (GDP) in real terms among various countries by calculating the purchasing power parities (PPP) of the currencies of these countries. As part of the ICP project, the Joint OECD-Eurostat PPP Program with the participation of member countries of OECD and European Union (EU) has been implemented since 1980, under the leadership of the Statistics Directorate of the OECD and the Statistical Office of the EU (Eurostat). Japan has been taking part in the program from the beginning, and the Office acts as the domestic coordinator. The websites relating to ICP are as follows:

ICP: http://siteresources.worldbank.org/ICPEXT/Resources/ICP_2011.html
Joint OECD-Eurostat PPP Program: http://www.oecd.org/std/ppp


(b) Special Data Dissemination Standard Plus (SDDS Plus)
  "SDDS Plus" is a data dissemination standard established by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2012 for timely dissemination of economic financial data, which enhances the former dissemination standard, "SDDS".
  In 1996, IMF established SDDS for the purposes of promoting the transparency of economic and financial statistics, and of enabling early warning of possible economic crisis. Japan has complied with SDDS since June 2000.
  However, since SDDS revealed data insufficiency during the 2007 global financial crisis, in 2012, the IMF established SDDS Plus, a new tier under the IMF Data Standards Initiatives that aims to address the need to fill data gaps to help prevent and mitigate financial crisis. It requires more comprehensive, timely, accessible, and reliable economic and financial data in comparison to SDDS. Japan has complied with SDDS Plus since April 2016.
  Following on from its coordination of SDDS, the Office now serves as the coordinator in Japan for SDDS Plus, and has been encouraging the relevant organizations to comply with SDDS Plus. A participating state should open a National Summary Data Page for SDDS Plus (hereinafter NSDP Plus) on its national website. In Japan, NSDP Plus has been set up and maintained on the Portal Site of Official Statistics of Japan (e-Stat), presenting the data for categories prescribed by SDDS Plus. Websites related to SDDS Plus are as follows:

IMF/DSBB: http://dsbb.imf.org
NSDP Plus: http://www.e-stat.go.jp/data/nsdp/


Top of this chapter


(3) Providing and exchanging statistical information

 The Office, with the cooperation of the statistics-producing organizations concerned, provides statistical data and information to international organizations and foreign countries according to their requirements. Further, the Office produces several English publications introducing the statistical activities of Japan for the convenience of foreign countries and international organization.

 For the sake of the organizations concerned in Japan, the Office conducts several activities: a biannual meeting among government executives to gain common knowledge and understanding of international statistical issues; a portal site where the Japanese government officers can obtain necessary statistical information such as international standards and guidelines; and publications by which the Japanese people can become familiar with statistical systems of foreign countries.

Top of this chapter


(4) Cooperation with the United Nations Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific

(a) Purpose of establishment and history
 The Government of Japan invited the United Nations to set up the Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific (SIAP: http://www.unsiap.or.jp 別ウィンドウで開きます) in Japan, and has been contributing to international cooperation in statistics by supporting the training activities of SIAP for many years.
SIAP was established in Tokyo in 1970 by 20 countries in the Asia and Pacific region with the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to train government statisticians from countries in the region. SIAP was accorded the legal status of a subsidiary body of UNESCAP (http://www.unescap.org/別ウィンドウで開きます) on April 1, 1995.

(b) Legal basis and details of Japan’s cooperation
 Based on the “Agreement between the Government of Japan and the United Nations relating to the Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific,別ウィンドウで開きます” the Government of Japan (Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications) extends cooperation as the host government by providing cash and in-kind contributions (provision of offices, equipment, facilities, etc.) within its budget, in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

 The expenses of SIAP staff members are funded by cash contributions from the members and associate members of UNESCAP. As the host government, Japan extends administrative assistance and cooperation, including staff services, building space, computer facilities, supplies and equipment to SIAP through the Office of the Director-General for Policy Planning in addition to cash contributions. Japan also provides fellowships for major training courses conducted at SIAP as part of its technical cooperation program through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The financial contribution of the government of Japan was around US$2.77 million for the fiscal year 2015.

 In addition, Japan is one of the members of the SIAP Governing Council, which reviews the administration and financial status of SIAP and the implementation of its program of work. The Director-General for Policy Planning has attended the council meetings as the representative of the Government of Japan, and has made many contributions to discussions while serving as the Vice-Chairperson of the Council.

(c) Location and number of staff
 Location: JETRO-IDE Building 4th floor, 2-2 Wakaba 3-chome, Mihama-ku, Chiba-shi, Chiba, Japan
 Number of United Nations staff members: 9 in total, including the director, deputy-director/lecturer, and statisticians/lecturers
(d) Training courses
 The purposes of SIAP are to strengthen, through practically- oriented training for official statisticians, the abilities of developing countries to collect, analyze and disseminate statistics, as well as produce timely and high-quality statistics for use in economic and social development planning. It also aims to assist these developing countries with the establishment or enhancement of their statistical training capabilities and other related activities. For these purposes, SIAP conducts the following training courses:

    (i) Group Training Programme on Improving Capability in Producing Official Statistics for Monitoring the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals
     This course is the main SIAP training program, and is conducted every year for four months for statisticians or
    government officials with basic knowledge of official statistics and with five years of work experience in the
    National Statistical Organizations (NSO) of each country in the UNESCAP region. It provides theoretical and
    practical training in various fields of official statistics, as well as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
    Indicators. This course deals with statistical and survey methods, demographic and social statistics, and National
    Accounts and economic statistics including modern statistical practices of the Japanese statistical system.
    The Government of Japan grants fellowships for this course through JICA.

    (ii) Group Training Programme on Production and Statistical Analysis of Monitoring Indicators in Support of 
    Inclusive Development Policies
     This course is conducted for six weeks for mid-level statisticians or government officials who are engaged in
    data collection, analysis and dissemination of information relating to social and economic statistics, including
    SDGs. It provides training in production and analyses of official statistics and indicators from household surveys
    in support of socio-economic disparity analyses. The Government of Japan grants fellowships for this course
    through JICA.

    (iii) Tokyo Metropolitan Area Course (TMA Course)
     This course provides special training on emerging or key issues for mid-level or senior statistical officials from
    countries in the Asia-Pacific region. “Regional Training Course on the National Strategies for the Development of
    Statistics (NSDS)” and“Regional Course on Statistics on Informality: Informal economy, work and employment”
    were conducted at SIAP in 2015.

    (iv) Regional or Sub-regional Training Courses, Workshops and Seminars
     These courses deal with special statistical topics at the request of individual countries, and are of short duration.
    SIAP requests the cooperation of NSOs and related organizations for these courses.

    (v) Country Training Courses 
     These courses are based on requests from countries in the Asia-Pacific region. SIAP sends lecturers for
    courses held in the countries making such requests.

    (vi) e-Learning Courses 
     These courses give individuals that have limited opportunities to participate in residential training
    an opportunity for high quality on-line learning about official statistics. Training programmes of the
    courses focus on all areas of official statistics and target national statistical systems.


SIAP Lectures_1 SIAP Lectures_2
SIAP Lectures
(e) Number of participants  
 As of the end of March 2016, SIAP has provided training to 15,514 participants from 133 countries and regions, mainly in Asia and the Pacific, since its establishment in 1970.

(f) Outcome of training 
 SIAP has greatly contributed to the improvement of national statistical systems as well as official statisticians mainly in developing countries of the ESCAP region.
                                                                                                                                                                                                           Top of this chapter