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Master Plan Concerning the Development of Official Statistics

Master Plan Concerning the Development of Official Statistics

In March 2009, the “Master Plan Concerning the Development of Official Statistics” (hereinafter the “1st Term Master Plan”) was formulated to plan the comprehensive and systematic promotion of measures for the development of official statistics, based on the Statistics Act (Act No. 53 in 2007) that was completely amended in 2007. Additionally, in March 2014, a new “Master Plan Concerning the Development of Official Statistics” to revise the 1st Term Master Plan for the period starting April 2014 (hereinafter the “2nd Term Master Plan”) was formulated, and various types of policies have been promoted. 
Meanwhile, the “Basic Policy on Statistics Reform” (Decision by the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy on December 21, 2016) prescribed that the 2nd Term Master Plan was to be revised within 2017 and a new statistical development policy was to be established for the purpose of promoting solving urgent problems to develop and improve economic statistics and reinforcing the functions of the Statistics Commission and administrative departments of statistics. 
The “Final Report of the Statistics Reform Promotion Council” (Decision by the Statistics Reform Promotion Council on May 19, 2017, hereinafter referred to as the “Final Report”) and the “Basic Policy on Economic and Fiscal Management and Reform 2017” (Cabinet decision on June 9, 2017) drawn in response to the above policy also suggested promotion of statistics reform such as improvement of economic statistics based on GDP statistics and establishment of an evidence-based policymaking (EBPM) promotion system. As such, the socio-economic situation surrounding statistics have been changing significantly.
 Under such a situation, it is important for the government as a whole to advance measures based on the purpose and objective of the Statistics Act while taking into consideration newly emerging needs and the changes in the socio-economic situation, so that official statistics are able to fully play their roles as vital information which forms a basis for the rational decision making.
Therefore, based on Article 4, paragraph 6 of the Statistics Act, in consideration of the changes in the socio-economic situation surrounding statistics and based on the evaluation of the effects of the measures for the development of official statistics made through deliberations by the Statistics Commission, it is hereby decided by the Cabinet to revise the 2nd Term Master Plan one year ahead of schedule, against the provision that the Master Plan shall be revised roughly every five years, into a new “Master Plan Concerning the Development of Official Statistics” for the period starting April 2018 (hereinafter the “3rd Term Master Plan”).
 As was the case for the 1st Term Master Plan, the 3rd Term Master Plan lists the background, necessity, future direction, and ongoing measures of initiatives, while specifying measures and policies to be taken in the next five years, ministries in charge, etc. in tables in the Appendix.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, in cooperation with the Cabinet Office and each Ministry, will steadily promote this plan and make further efforts to develop official statistics systematically and efficiently and ensure their usefulness.

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The 3rd Term Master Plan

Points of the 3rd Term Master Plan

In the 3rd Term Master Plan, the government as a whole shall work on realization of the statistics reform shown in the Final Report, etc., while strengthening the functions of the Statistics Commission as the "control tower", and promote various measures that emphasize the viewpoints 1-5 below toward “securing and improving the usefulness of official statistics” which is also an important goal in the Statistics Act (Act No. 53 of 2007).
1 Accurate responses to EBPM and statistical needs
2 Promoting cross-ministerial statistical development, including improving the National Accounts and economic statistics
3 Securing and improving international comparability and consistency between statistics
4 Promoting use of statistical data, etc. from user’s viewpoint
5 Developing and enhancing infrastructure toward promotion of statistical improvement
 

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Process of the decision of the 3rd Term Master Plan

Dec. 21, 2016 The Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy decided “Basic Policy on Statistics Reform”
Feb. 23, 2017 The Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications consulted the Statistics Commission on revising the Master Plan Concerning the Development of official statistics.
May 19, 2017 The Statistics Reform Promotion Council decided “Final Report of the Statistics Reform Promotion Council ”
Dec. 19, 2017 Report of the Statistics Commission to the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications
Jan.-Feb., 2018 Public Comments
Mar. 6, 2018 Decision by the Cabinet
 

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Development of the Master Plan

As was the case for the 2nd Term Master Plan, the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications shall compile and release a report on the development of the 3rd Term Master Plan and submit it to the Statistics Commission every year.
 The Master Plan shall be reviewed every five years, based on changes in the socio-economic situation and on the deliberation in the Statistics Commission, etc.

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(Reference) The 1st Term Master Plan (Cabinet Decision on March 13, 2009)

(Reference) The 2nd Term Master Plan (Cabinet Decision on March 25, 2014)

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