Standard statistical criteria are required in order to maintain the accuracy and objectivity of statistics, and to improve their mutual comparability and usage. As one form of such criteria, the Japan Standard Occupational Classification has been established by classifying occupations according to the similarities between jobs undertaken by individuals and arranging them systematically, in order to express the results of statistical surveys for each individual occupation.
The origins of the Japan Standard Occupational Classification can be traced to the Occupational Classification used in the 1st National Census, which was conducted in 1920.
This Occupational Classification was closer to an industrial classification in today's terms, with the addition of some occupational details. At the time, there was no clear distinction between the concepts of occupational and industrial classifications, the latter merely being conducted under the name of the former. The distinction between occupational and industrial classifications was first made in the 3rd National Census in 1930. Then, from the 5th National Census in 1940 onwards, the occupational classification used in the Census was prepared separately from the industrial classification. In the 2nd National Census in 1925 and the 4th National Census in 1935, meanwhile, there were no data specific to different occupations.
The impetus for the Occupational Classification to be established in its present form was provided by the World Census proposed by the United Nations in 1950. Japan took part in the Census, and, at the suggestion of the occupying forces (GHQ), a Central Planning Commission was set up within the Cabinet's Statistics Commission in 1950. Research on the various classifications was now promoted as a basic operation in the Census execution plan. For this, along with the various special working groups, an Occupational Classification Special Working Group consisting of a committee, a steering group and a sub-committee was set up.
This Working Group was responsible for preparing the Occupational Classification for the National Census in September 1950, and then continued to prepare standard classifications. For this, a Technical Committee on Standard Occupational Classification was newly appointed to pursue research.
Following a reform of administrative organs, the Statistics Commission's Occupational Classification Expert Working Group became the Occupational Classification Expert Working Group of the Statistical Standards Department in the Administrative Management Agency from August 1952, though its organizational setup remained the same. In March 1953, a draft proposal for the Japan Standard Occupational Classification was published. This proposal was later re-published in March 1957.
Meanwhile, as part of the aforementioned reform of administrative organs, the Statistics Council was set up as a consultative body to the Director-General of the Administrative Management Agency in August 1952. At the 1st Meeting of the Statistics Council in September of that year, an inquiry was made on establishing standards for occupational classification used in statistical surveys (Inquiry No.2: On the Establishment of Standards for Occupational Classification Used in Statistical Surveys), as well as on the establishment of standards for industrial classification, product classification, regional classification and buildings classification.
In response to this, an Occupational Classification Expert Working Group was set up within the Statistics Council in November of the same year, and started to deliberate on the establishment of the Japan Standard Occupational Classification.
After this, the Occupational Classification for the National Census was created by the Statistics Bureau of the Prime Minister's Office in 1955. In 1958, the International Labour Organization (ILO) established its International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO), and deliberations on the Japan Standard Occupational Classification also took such experience and research into account.
Based on this background, a report on the establishment of the Japan Standard Occupational Classification was made by the 90th Meeting of the Statistics Council in March 1960, and in response to this, the Administrative Management Agency established the Japan Standard Occupational Classification in the same month.
Once the Japan Standard Occupational Classification had been established, considerable changes came to be observed in occupations as a result of shifts in socio-economic trends, causing a divergence from reality when applying the standard classification. Moreover, in 1968 the International Labour Organization (ILO) revised its International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO) (a draft revision was adopted at the 11th International Conference of Labour Statisticians (ICLS) in October 1966, and approved at the 168th General Assembly in February-March 1967). Therefore, a revision was planned, and an inquiry on revising the Japan Standard Occupational Classification was made at the 188th meeting of the Statistics Council in May 1968.
A report to this inquiry was made at the 209th meeting of the Statistics Council in February 1970, and in response to this, the Administrative Management Agency carried out the 1st revision of the Japan Standard Occupational Classification in March of the same year.
Following this, the 2nd revision was made in December 1979, the 3rd revision in 1986, and finally the 4th revision in December 1997, to keep step with changes in occupational structure accompanying shifts in socio-economic trends.
The main aim of the 4th revision was, while basically respecting the existing system of classification as far as possible, to ensure that the classes are more widely used as standard criteria when drawing up and using various statistics related to occupations. To this end, the system of classification, class titles, descriptions and illustrations of content have been changed. Of these changes, the main examples of new, abolished, divided, merged and transferred classes are as follows.
|05||Architects, civil engineers and surveyors|
|06||Data processing technicians|
|132||Patent attorneys, judicial scriveners|
|149||Other management specialists|
|211||Legislative officials and government administrators|
|353||Cosmetic service workers (except beauticians)|
|395||Undertakers, crematorium workers|
|763||Steel reinforcement workers|
|805||Winders, hank reelers|
|816||Felt, non-woven fabric production workers|
|836||Wooden tub, barrel and round box makers|
|863||Tire repair workers|
|663||Support pillar workers|
|664||Mine transport workers|
|665||Ore dressers, coal dressers|
|03||Mechanical / electrical engineers||03||Mining & manufacturing industry technicians|
|04||Mining & amp; manufacturing industry technicians (except mechanical / electrical engineers)|
|034||Electrical engineers||035||Electrical engineers|
|09||Public health nurses, midwives, nurses||06||Health care workers (except doctors, dental surgeons, veterinary surgeons, pharmacists)|
|11||Other health care workers|
|101||Diagnostic radiographers||064||Diagnostic radiographers,Clinical laboratory / medical technologists|
|102||Clinical laboratory technologists,medical technologists|
|104||Dental hygienists||066||Dental hygienists/ Dental technicians|
|301||Passenger / freight clerical workers||301||Transport clerical workers|
|302||Transportation management clerical workers|
|392||Left luggage handlers||452||Left luggage handlers,commodity hire workers|
|393||Commodity hire workers|
|76||Construction skeleton workers||92||Construction workers|
|77||Construction workers (except construction skeleton workers)|
|361||Cooks||353||Bar, cafe and restaurant owners (who prepare food and drinks themselves)|
|422||Cooks (except chefs)|
|431||Crop farming and sericulture workers||551||Crop farming workers|
|451||Fishery workers||571||Ocean fishery workers|
|572||Freshwater fishery workers|
|461||Electric and diesel engine drivers||601||Electric engine drivers|
|602||Diesel and steam engine drivers|
|462||Electric and diesel car drivers||603||Diesel car drivers|
|604||Electric car drivers|
|501||Radio communication technicians||641||Radio communication workers|
|I-1||Manufacturing and production workers||I-2||Ceramics, earth and stone products, metal materials and chemical product makers|
|I-3||Metal product and machinery makers|
|I-4||Other product makers|
|629||Other food makers||779||Other food ingredient makers|
|789||Other food makers|
|64||Spinners and weavers||80||Silk reelers|
|81||Spinners and weavers|
|641||Roving and spinning workers||802||Blenders|
|648||Rope and net makers(fiber)||817||Rope, cord and string makers (fiber)|
|818||Net makers (fiber)|
|649||Other spinners and weavers||809||Other silk reelers|
|819||Other spinners and weavers|
Plastic product shapers and processors
|864||Plastic product shapers|
|865||Plastic product processors|
|I-3||Mine workers, construction workers and laborers||I-1||Mine workers|
|75||Mine workers||65||Mine and quarry workers|
|66||Other mine workers|
(From old "51 Judicial police employees " to new "42 Other public security workers ")