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Japan Standard Occupational Classification (Rev. 5th, December 2009)
General Principles for the Japan Standard Occupational Classification

Paragraph 1 : Definition of Terms

  1. (1)Work
    In this Occupational Classification, the term "work" refers to specific duties or tasks performed by individuals.

  2. (2) Compensation
    In this Occupational Classification, the term "compensation" refers to anything that is given in compensation for labor, regardless of its name such as wages, salary, profit (for the self-employed) or anything else. The wages, salary, etc. include payment in kind (except for in-house products).

    Accordingly, the following forms of income are not deemed compensation:
    1. Interest, share dividends, house rent, room rent, land rent, key money, and other income on property (except where income is gained as a result of labor such as apartment management, money-lending or other acts).
    2. Income based on the social security system in line with the Public Official Pensions Act, Daily Public Assistance Act, Employees' Pension Act, National Pension Act, Employment Insurance Act, etc., and other pension income.
    3. Bestowed pocket money, remittances from family members, and other gifts.
    4. Payouts or proceeds from horseracing, cycle racing, boat racing, pachinko, and other forms of similar activity.
    5. Income from the withdrawal of deposits, receipt of insurance money, borrowings, or the sale of land or other assets.
    6. Income from profit on the sale of shareholdings, etc.
    7. School or student scholarships, etc.
    8. Training allowances and consolation money in an occupational training facility.
  3. (3) Occupation
    In this Occupational Classification, the term "occupation" refers to work undertaken by individuals with or for compensation.

    However, work undertaken by members of a family engaged in a family business in the household to which they belong shall be deemed an occupation as long as the work is performed continuously for fixed hours (such as an average of two hours per day, or at least one-third of the working hours of normal working people), regardless of whether any recompense is received or not.

    Therefore, the following types of work are not deemed occupations:
    1. Housework or gardening undertaken in the person's own household, child-minding or other caretaking work for pocket money.
    2. Unwaged service-type work such as working for a PTA or children's association, social welfare activities, volunteer activities, and similar work.
    Moreover, such illegal acts as theft, extortion, gambling, prostitution or smuggling, violation of public decency, and work undertaken by prison inmates are not regarded as occupations.

  4. (4) In addition to those stipulated in (1) to (3) above, the terms used in this Occupational Classification shall be in accordance with the examples of terms as used in the Statistics Act (Act No. 53 of 2007).

Paragraph 2 : Principles of Applying the Occupational Classification and Setting up Classifications

The Occupational Classification applies to work and simultaneously to individuals through their work, and is used to indicate the statistics of each occupation (Note 1).

(Note 1) Since the classifications are applied to persons, expressions that denote persons such as workers are used.

The classifications in this Occupational Classification are set up independently from the industrial classifications of establishments, forms of employment of individuals, and the duration or continuity of work (Note 2).

(Note 2) The above does not apply to the agriculture, forestry and fisheries industries, in which the industry and occupation are closely related to each other.

The classifications are set up by considering how firmly work is established as an occupation in society as judged by the extent of the similarity of the work contents, number of persons engaged in the work, and other factors. This similarity of the work contents to be considered shall be as follows:

  1. (1) Any knowledge or skill required to perform the work
  2. (2) The role served within the establishment or other organization
  3. (3) The type of goods manufactured or service provided
  4. (4) The type of tools, machinery and equipment, or facility necessary for the work
  5. (5) The place and environment where the work is undertaken
  6. (6) The type of any qualification or license necessary to perform the work

Paragraph 3 : Composition of the Classification Table for the Occupational Classification and the Notation of Classification Codes

  1. (1) Composition of the classification table

    The composition of the classification table for the Occupational Classification shall consist of the Major Groups (12), Minor Groups (74) and Unit Groups (329). However, only up to nine Unit Groups can be set up under one Minor Group.

    The names of Major Groups and the numbers of Minor Groups and Unit Groups set up under each shall be as follows:

    Major Group Minor Group Unit Group
    A - Administrative and managerial workers 4 10
    B - Professionak and engineering workers 20 91
    C - Clerical workers 7 26
    D - Sales workers 3 19
    E - Service workers 8 32
    F - Security workers 3 11
    G - Agriculture, forestry, and fishery workers 3 12
    H - Manufacturing process workers 11 69
    I - Transport and machine operation workers 5 22
    J - Construction and mining workers 5 22
    K - Carrying, cleaning, packaging, and related workers 4 14
    L - Workers not classifiable by occupation 1 1
    Total : 12 74 329
  2. (2) Notation of the classification codes

    The notation of the classification codes for the Occupational Classification shall be as follows:

    1. The Major Groups shall be denoted by capital letters.
    2. The Minor Groups shall be denoted by two-digit serial numbers starting with the Major Group whose classification code is "A" except for Major Group L [Workers not classifiable by occupation].
    3. The Unit Groups shall be denoted by three-digit numbers, with the two high-order digits denoting the Minor Group to which these groups belong.
    4. The third digit of a Unit Group code shall be a number from 1 to 9 in accordance with the decimal scale in which the number 9 shall denote a miscellaneous class not classified elsewhere.

Paragraph 4 : Method of determining occupations

The method of determining occupations shall be by the following judging standards:

  1. (1) When work corresponds to a single classification
    When an individual is engaged in work that corresponds to a single classification, that person's occupation shall be determined by that work.

  2. (2) When work corresponds to more than one classification
    To determine one occupation of an individual engaged in work that corresponds to more than one classification, the following principles shall apply:
    1. When engaged in more than one type of work that corresponds to different classifications in more than one place of employment:
      1. (a) By the classification that brings the largest compensation (Note 3).
      2. (b) If determination by (a) is difficult, by the classification that commands the longest working hours (Note 3)
      3. (c) If determination by both (a) and (b) is difficult, by the work engaged in nearest to the time of the survey.
    2. When engaged in work that corresponds to multiple classifications at one place of employment (Note 4):
      1. (a) By the classification that commands the longest working hours (Note 3). However, if a researcher, medical doctor or dentist at a university performs research work, medical care or other work, such person shall be classified as a university professor as long as engaged in an educational activity.
        • (Note 3) When determining an occupation by compensation or working hours, the recompense or working hours shall be compiled in accordance with the work contents for each Major Group, and the Major Group in which the compiled amount is the largest shall be selected. Then, a Minor Group and Unit Group under that Major Group shall be determined by similar standards.
        • (Note 4) A business operator, store supervisor, manager or administrative officer who is also engaged directly in any work other than management or administration will be deemed to correspond to more than one classification.
      2. (b) If determination by (a) is difficult, the following shall apply:
        1. When an occupation corresponds to more than one Major Group
          From the standpoint of prioritizing an occupation that directly relates to any goods or service, determination shall be made in accordance with the order of Major Groups shown below (Note 5). However, since all of Major Groups E to K shown below directly relate to the production of goods or services, there shall be no order of priority among these Major Groups.
          • E-Service workers
          • F-Security workers
          • G-Agriculture, forestry and fishery workers
          • H-Manufacturing process workers
          • J-Construction and mining workers
          • K-Carrying, cleaning, packaging, and related workers
          • I-Transport and machine operation workers
          • B-Professional and engineering workers
          • D-Sales workers
          • A-Administrative and managerial workers
          • C-Clerical workers
          (Note 5) Occupations in Major Groups I to C above shall be deemed to be work that administrates and supports production activities for the goods and services performed by the occupations under Major Groups E to K, or deemed to cause the so-produced goods to be distributed.
        2. When an occupation corresponds to multiple classifications in one Major Group or one Minor Group
          1. (a) When those multiple classifications are different steps within one process of producing goods or services like cooking and serving in the provision of food and drink, determination shall be made by the classification that corresponds to the main or final step in the process.
          2. (b) If the determination by (a) is difficult, determination shall be made by the classification that requires the longest years of experience or period of training for performing the relevant work.
  3. (3) Treatment of qualifications, apprentices, etc.
    1. With regard to jobs requiring any public or similar qualification, the title of such qualification is, in principle, used as the name of the corresponding classification, and therefore, the relevant qualified persons shall only be subject to the corresponding classification. However, an assistant certified public accountant shall be classified in Unit Group 181 - Certified public accountants. Any unqualified apprentices, assistants, aids and similar persons related to such jobs shall be deemed unable to perform work with the same contents as performed by qualified persons, but to perform different work and shall be determined as being classified under another classification in line with the contents of their actual work that differs from those of qualified persons.
    2. With regard to jobs not requiring any public or similar qualification and performed by unqualified apprentices, assistants, aids and similar persons, if the work contents of a job are similar to those of a job done by a qualified person, such persons shall be classified under the same classification as the qualified person, and if the work contents differ, such job shall be determined as being classified under another classification in line with such contents.
  4. (4) Other special treatment
    Treatment of a leader of a workplace
    1. In case a leader, supervisor, or manager of a workplace is engaged in work of an administrative nature concurrently with and in addition to the same job as that in which other general workers in the same workplace are engaged, the work classification of such leader, etc. shall be determined in accordance with the work of such general workers. However, the classification that corresponds to Major Group A [Administrative and managerial workers] or Major Group B [Professional and engineering workers] in light of the standards specified in Paragraph 4, (2), (b) shall be determined to belong to each corresponding Major Group.
    2. Special case for security workers
      Persons appointed as self-defense officials, police officers, maritime safety officials or firefighters shall be deemed to correspond to the classifications of self-defense officials, police officers, maritime safety officials or firefighters in each corresponding Major Group regardless of the work contents actually engaged in.
    3. Special case for professional and engineering workers
      The directors of laboratories, hospitals, medical and dental clinics, court presidents, public prosecutor generals, superintendent public prosecutors, chief public prosecutors, chief examiner of the Japan Fair Trade Commission, judges of the Marine Accident Consultation Agency, appeal-examiners-in-chief of the Japan Patent Office, and school principals shall be deemed to correspond to the classification of Major Group B [Professional and engineering workers] regardless of the work contents actually engaged in.

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