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Home > Statistics > Economic Census for Business Activity > 2016 Economic Census for Business Activity Campaign Website > Census Objectives and Content

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Census Objectives and Content


The "Economic Census for Business Activity" is a survey carried out for the purpose of compiling statistics about Japan's economic structure.
It seeks to comprehensively ascertain a variety of accounting items, such as sales (revenue) and costs, across all industries and sectors at the same point in time, and use this to obtain a clear picture of the economic activity of Japanese establishments and enterprises nationally and locally, as well as to obtain population information for various statistical surveys aimed at establishments and enterprises.


  • Organizes primary statistical information which, as a rule, covers all industries and can be used as basic data for National Accounts Statistics and the creation of interindustry tables.
  • Systematically organizes statistical information useful in assessing tertiary industries, which are becoming an increasingly prominent part of the national economy due to an increasing shift towards a service economy.
  • Organizes population information, such as benchmark information for population reconstruction, and extraction conditions and exemption conditions for sample surveys used for a variety of statistical surveys aimed at establishments and enterprises.
  • Organizes population information and statistical information corresponding to the diversification of economic activity, given the fact that the economic activity of establishments and enterprises is diversifying and industry-specific statistics only allow for the assessment of the economic activity in a given industry.
  • Organizes primary statistical information related to regional economic activity which then serves as basic data for the Report on Prefectural Accounts, Report on Municipal Accounts, and local interindustry tables, as well as for the development of detailed policies tailored to local conditions.
  • Organizes basic information to be used in administrative policymaking for such matters as local consumption tax settlement and the allocation of small and medium-sized business stimulus subsidies.


  • Aimed at all establishments and enterprises, including factories, coffee shops and individually-owned establishments.
  • In addition to basic items, such as name, address, business structure, etc., the survey investigates items related to economic activity, including business content, sales and costs, capital investments, etc.
  • The results of the census will be used to make life better for everyone in Japan, serving as reference data for policymaking decisions and corporate planning.


What constitutes an "establishment?"

For the purposes of this census, "establishment" refers to an entity engaged in economic activity, such as the manufacture and sale of goods or the provision of services, and which meets the following criteria:

  • Operates under a single management agency
  • Occupies a given space
  • Has employees and equipment
  • Operates on an ongoing basis

For example, trading firms, inns, factories, warehouses, banks, schools, shrines and temples, hospitals, cram schools, etc., occupy a given space, have employees and equipment and operate on an ongoing basis and are, therefore, establishments.
However, in cases where different proprietors operate in the same physical space, they are treated as separate establishments.

About Single-unit Establishments, Head Offices, Headquarters, Main Offices and Branch Offices, Branch Shops, Branch Houses

"Single-unit Establishment"

  • "Single-unit establishments" refers to business entities with no head offices or branch offices at different locations run by the same management agency, and to single establishments with a single organization.

"Head Office, Headquarter, Main Office"

  • "Head Office, Headquarter, Main Office" refers to establishments which hold branch offices at different locations run by the same management agency and which control all of them.
  • A single business entity can have only one "Head Office, Headquarter, Main Office." When the headquarters is separated between two or more locations, the location of the representative officer is considered as the "Head Office, Headquarter, Main Office," and the other locations are considered as "Branch Offices, Branch Shops, Branch Houses."

"Branch Office, Branch Shop, Branch House"

  • "Branch Office, Branch Shop, Branch House" refers to establishments controlled by a "Head Office, Headquarter, Main Office" at another location.
  • Regardless of whether an establishment's name specifies it as a headquarters, it is considered as a "Branch Office, Branch Shop, Branch House" if overall control is exercised by a different establishment.

Chain Stores and Franchises

Examples where control is not exercised by the same management agency (unconnected to headquarters or branch shops)

  • Franchise and chain business headquarters and member stores (separate management)
  • Group establishments comprised of a parent company and subsidiaries, affiliates, etc.

Examples where control is exercised by the same management agency (connected to headquarters or branch shops)

  • Franchise and chain business headquarters and company stores
  • All stores managed by a business entity (enterprise) which manages franchise or chain member stores

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