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Home > Information > About the Organization > A Guide to the Statistics Bureau, the Director-General for Policy Planning (Statistical Standards) and the Statistical Research and Training Institute >Chapter IV

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Chapter IV Compilation and Dissemination of Statistical Information

1. Collection and compilation of statistical information

(1) Grid Square Statistics

   Grid Square Statistics are small-area statistics compiled on the basis of square-area units of nearly uniform size, demarcated along longitude and latitude.

   Grid Square Statistics is widely used for city planning, regional developments, disaster prevention, environmental programs, and antipollution measures, academic research, area marketing, etc.

   The Statistics Bureau compiles Grid Square Statistics for the Population Census (since 1970) and the Economic Census (since 2009) or the Establishment and Enterprise Census [1947-2006] (since 1975).

Defining Grid Squares

   To compile Grid Square Statistics, the whole area of Japan is divided into square areas based on longitudinal lines drawn at every 1/80 degree and latitudinal lines drawn at every 1/120 degree. The areas thus defined are nearly equal to 1 square kilometer in the range of latitudes where Japan is located. This grid square is called the Basic Grid Square.

   In addition to the Basic Grid Square, a smaller grid square called a Half Grid Square is installed. The Half Grid Square is demarcated by dividing a Basic Grid Square into four equal parts towards longitude and latitude.

The Grid Square Statistics have the following advantages:

(a) You can easily get figures on the area you need by adding up the related Grid Square Statistics.

(b) It is easy to calculate, compare and analyze between areas of interest with Grid Square Statistics.

(c) As the partition of square areas are fixed, it is easy to make a comparison of regional characteristics in time-series without being affected by the change of administrative boundaries of local municipalities, or the change of demarcation of enumeration districts (ED) by geographical changes, etc.

Method of Compiling Grid Square Statistics

   Grid Square Statistics of 2010 Population Census were compiled by allocating the tabulated data of Basic Unit Blocks to the corresponding Grid Squares.

   Grid Square Statistics of 2009 Economic Census for Business Frame were compiled by linking establishments with the corresponding Grid Squares by geocoding the addresses of the establishments.


   The results compiled are published in CD-R and statistical maps, and are also provided via e-Stat.

Grid Square Statistics of 2010 Population Census
Total Population (Half Grid Square) of Tokyo-to Ku-area

(2) Census Mapping System (CMS)

   Along with the introduction of the concept of the Basic Unit Blocks (BUBs) at the time of the 1990 Population Census, the Bureau constructed the Census Mapping System (CMS), using Geographic Information System (GIS) technology, to enable more geographically sophisticated use of statistical data on BUBs.

   The major functions of the CMS include storing and maintaining digitized information on the boundaries of BUBs/EDs, and compiling small-area statistics such as those by address block (Machi, Cho, or Aza). Another important function of the CMS is to show different small-area statistical data in the form of maps.

   The CMS is expected to be applied in many fields. The Bureau uses the CMS for the following activities:

(a) Providing support for taking censuses and sample surveys

  • Providing support for establishing EDs for censuses
  • Providing support for sampling in various statistical surveys (including avoiding a situation wherein a specific ED is selected in two or more surveys within a certain period)

(b) Compiling small-area statistics

  • Demarcating densely inhabited districts (DIDs)
  • Compiling Grid Square Statistics

(c) Providing analyses by a municipality’s administrative subdivisions

  • Providing analyses by compiling data for areas to set up for specific purposes
  • Providing analyses by combining small-area statistics with data from other sources
Picture of CMS & Population density by address block (from the 2010 Population Census of Japan)

2. Dissemination of statistical information

(1) Website

   The Bureau provides a wide range of statistical information on a timely basis and in an easy-to-understand form through various publications, a website, an official Facebook page, and an e-mail newsletter. Since April 1996, the Bureau has provided a variety of statistical information on its website (

   This website provides a guide to the Bureau and the Statistical Research and Training Institute. This website also provides information concerning the official statistics system, statistical data collected by the Bureau, and links to statistical sources of other ministries, etc. The top page of the website is shown below (Figure 1).

Figure 1: The top page of the Bureau’s Website

(2) Inter-Ministry Information System for Official Statistics (IMISOS)

   The Japanese government has promoted “e-government” as a part of administrative reform. For this purpose, the Japanese government decided to implement a plan called “The Optimization of Operations and Systems.” Under this plan, the system followed by each individual ministry is to be centralized and the operation itself is to be extensively restructured, in order to curtail public expenditure, reduce work load, and improve public services.

   Based on this plan, “The Optimization of Operations and Systems for Statistical Work” was adopted in March 2006, to curtail public statistical expenditure, reduce work load, improve public statistical services, and centralize the statistical information system, which each ministry had previously operated and maintained independently.

   Under this action plan, the statistical information systems of different ministries were integrated into a single system for all ministries, which is known as the “Inter-Ministry Information System for Official Statistics (IMISOS).”

    IMISOS was designed and developed, through an initiative of the Bureau and an operation-test was held from May 2006 to March 2008. Subsequently IMISOS was launched in April 2008.

   This system provides 1) A ‘One-Stop-Service’ for various statistical uses; 2) United management and sampling of the population information; 3) Online statistical surveys by various ministries.

   As shown below (Figure 2), IMISOS consists of 13 subsystems. People and enterprises access the system through the Internet; whereas, ministries and local governments access the system through the Government Common Network and a Local Government Wide Area Network (LGWAN).

   However, the entire management and operation of IMISOS has been entrusted to the National Statistics Center as a government management agency for streamlining and simplifying governmental work. This is an added advantage of the system.

Figure 2: Image of IMISOS

   The points of e-Stat and e-Survey that are the main subsystems are shown below.

(2)-1 “Portal Site of Official Statistics of Japan (e-Stat)”

   The “Portal Site of Official Statistics of Japan (e-Stat)” aims to provide a ‘One-Stop-Service’ for statistical information. The e-Stat site collects and integrates statistical information from the websites of all ministries, and provides it via the e-Stat system.Also, the Application Programming Interface (API) function and the statistics Geographic Information System (GIS) (jSTAT MAP) specialized in analysis of small regions were added to the e-Stat system.

Figure 3: The top page of e-Stat (

   The main functions of e-Stat are as follows:

Search for Statistics

   Users are able to search, browse and download statistical tables which ministries have made available. Users may not only search by keyword, theme, and ministries, but are also able to draw out statistical tables and graphs from databases, which are compiled from statistical survey results.

Easy access to main statistics (“Looking through figures and graphs”)

   Users are able to show statistical data in the form of visual images, for example figures and graphs displayed on a map, etc.

   The main functions are shown below:

(a) Japan in Figures and Graphs

     Users are able to grasp the latest statistical indices by number and graph, because e-Stat automatically updates the statistical indices with every release.

Figure 4: Image of “statistical indices by looking through figures and graphs”

(b) Regional Statistics

   Users can browse principal data such as population and the total land area of each prefecture and municipality in detail. Users can also display these respectively in terms of prefecture and municipality. Besides that, users can make up a graph from the principal data by extracting data for different items and districts.

Figure 5: Image of Regional Statistics Table

(c) Thematic Map (Statistic GIS; Japanese only)

   Users are able to display a variety of statistical information on the map, and download such data and statistical values.

Figure 6: image of Statistics GIS (Japanese) 1

Figure 6: image of Statistics GIS (Japanese) 2
Figure 6: The image of Statistics GIS (Japanese)

(d) Analysis of a small region on the map (jSTAT MAP; Japanese only)

   The function of analyzing the imported users’ data and the function of the statistics GIS (jSTAT MAP) specialized in analysis of small regions were added to the e-Stat. As one of the functions of jSTAT MAP, it can show statistical information on the optionally designated area.

Figure 7: Image of Sub-regional analysis by map (jSTAT MAP; Japanese)

(e) Learn metadata (Japanese only)

   Users can search Statistical Classifications such as the “Japan Standard Industrial Classification,” and the “Japan Standard Occupational Classification” etc.

   Also, users can search statistical terms, the name or code of municipalities, the topics surveyed and their definitions.

Figure 8: Result of searching topics surveyed (Japanese)

   Users are able to look over the statistical system of Japan, and access the latest results of the statistical surveys of Japanese ministries. Also, users can search through the key statistical contents of the ministries’ websites.

(f) Application Programming Interface (API) function

   By utilizing a program of the API functions, users can download the statistical tables from the statistical information which are registered as the database format in the e-Stat, though users had to do it manually before.

   In the 57 statistical data, users can use the API functions which are offered on “e-Stat”.

Figure 9: Overview of the API functions

(2)-2 Online Survey System (OSS or “e-survey”)

   For the statistical surveys conducted by ministries, the “e-survey” system makes it possible for people and enterprises to conveniently respond from their homes or offices via the Internet. The OSS operates under a substantial security system.

   Thanks to the “e-survey,” survey respondents have the advantage of being able to respond to surveys regardless of their lifestyle or working schedule. Not only that, but ministries can reduce their operations via the “e-survey” function, for example by automatically checking errors such as entries that have been omitted from the questionnaire.

   About 80 statistical surveys have already been conducted via this online survey system. For example, the “Monthly Survey on Service Industries,” “Housing and Land Survey,” “Family Income and Expenditure Survey” (MIC), “School Basic Survey” (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology), “Monthly Labour Survey” (Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare), “Census of Fisheries” (Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries), “Census of Manufactures” (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry), and “Corporations Survey on Land and Buildings” (Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism) have been conducted.

<<Answering process for survey respondents by “e-survey”>>

   When survey respondents respond to the survey via the e-survey, the process will proceed as follows:

   (a) Login by entering the ID and identification code

   (b) Download the electronic questionnaire from OSS

   (c) Complete the questionnaire responses

   (d) Save the electronic data of the questionnaire (can be saved with password)

   (e) Send the electronic data of the questionnaire to OSS

   (f) Receive confirmation of the acceptance of the electronic data of the questionnaire from OSS

   All the respondents’ answers via the e-survey are encrypted by SSL.

Figure 10: Showing the “e-survey” response process

Figure 11: Top page of e-survey (left, Japanese) and image of the electronic questionnaire (right, Japanese)

〔Other 11 subsystems of IMISOS〕
   Other than e-Stat and e-Survey there are 11 other subsystems in IMISOS. Their outlines are shown below:

Name of Subsystems


Statistical Area Code

Management System

This system manages information concerning changes regarding municipalities such as mergers, name

or boundary changes, and a Statistical Area Code. It is possible to grasp these transitions via a timeline.

Survey Items Database


Recording items and questionnaires used in Statistical Surveys. This system is able to search meta data

such as definitions of items.

Statistical Tables

Management System(STMS)

STMS saves ministries’ spreadsheets, CSV or PDF files of statistical tables, and delivers them to users

through the e-Stat system.

Statistical Information


Gathering the results of Fundamental Statistics in this DB. It enables users to search statistical tables,

sample data, express statistical tables, download data, and create statistical graphs via the Internet.

Regional Statistics Analysis

System (RSAS)


Various statistical data concerning prefectures and municipalities are stored in RSAS, which makes

it possible to browse the same in the form of tables and charts through e-Stat. The contents are

presented in Japanese, and there are plans to also supply them in English.

Statistical Geographical

Information System

This system is able to express various statistical data via visual images, for example: figures and

graphs displayed on a map, which enables the geographic analysis of statistical information.

Statistical Classification

Management System


This DB-system allows searching of the “Japan Standard Industrial Classification,” “Japan Standard

Occupational Classification,” “Japan Standard Commodity Classification,” “Classification of Diseases,

Injuries and Causes of Death.”

Back Office Portal Site



This site is a plaza for officials who are in charge of the statistical operations of ministries and

municipalities. It contains a notice board on which it is possible to exchange information and

provide statistical content for these officials.

Enumerator Management


Coordinating with e-survey (OSS), this system manages information about enumerators.


Authentication System


This system performs authentication for IMISOS, and manages the information needed for

authentication in an integrated fashion. This allows for a single-sign-on system for all ministries.

Statistical Frame of

Establishments and





This is a database system (business frame) which has population information concerning

Establishments and Enterprises for all ministries.


Not only is the information in the database (DB) provided to ministries, but SFE assists in collecting

samples and avoiding repetition of survey respondents. Moreover, this system manages the historical

answer-record of surveyed objects.

(3) Compiling statistical compendia

   The Bureau compiles statistical compendia covering economic and social statistics, and other statistics, to meet a wide variety of statistical needs. The major statistical compendia are listed below. The Bureau’s website ( provides the following contents:

(a) Japan Statistical Yearbook

 (print and website;; in Japanese and English)

   This is the most comprehensive statistical yearbook covering many statistical fields, including land, population, economy, society, culture, and finance. The Yearbook was first published in 1882 as the Statistical Yearbook of the Japanese Empire, and continued to be published under the same title until 1941. After a break due to World War II, publication of the Yearbook resumed in 1949 under the present title, and it has continued to be published every year since. Recent volumes have contained around 950 pages with around 740 tables in 27 fields.

(b) Nihon no Tokei (Statistics of Japan) (print and website; in Japanese only)

   This book is an abridged version of the Statistical Yearbook, first published in 1956. It has been published every year since 1964. Recent volumes have contained around 400 pages with around 500 tables in 26 fields.

(c) Sekai no Tokei (International Statistical Compendium) (print and website; in Japanese only)

   This is one of the most comprehensive international statistical compendia published in Japan. It has been published every year since 1951, and incorporates the most recent statistics of 195 countries available from the UN and other international organizations. Recent volumes have contained around 400 pages with around 150 tables, covering topics such as population, economy, society, and culture.

(d) Statistical Handbook of Japan

 (print and website;; in English only)

   This handbook, first published in 1958 (and every year since 1969), aims to provide information concerning the current socioeconomic situation of Japan. It contains around 200 pages of statistical tables, figures, explanations, maps and photographs.

(e) Social Indicators by Prefecture (2014 edition)

 (print and website;; in Japanese and English)

   This is a report based on prefecture-specific primary data on statistical indicators which are set using basic data developed for the System of Social and Demographic Statistics of Japan. The system is based on the System of Social and Demographic Statistics (SSDS), which is recognized by the United Nations. It includes 608 social indicators and 571 items of basic data. They are collected for 13 fields from “A. Population and Households” to “M. Daily Time”, and organized for each prefecture (recognizable by the suffixes to, do, fu, and ken) and municipality (recognizable by the suffixes shi, ku, machi, and mura), thus enabling regional comparisons and analyses.

   In addition to this report, two subsidiary reports titled “Statistical Observations of Prefectures” and “Statistical Observations of Shi, Ku, Machi, Mura” are also published (Japanese only).

3. Secondary Use of Statistical Information

(1) New framework for secondary use of official statistics

   The new framework for the secondary use of official statistics in Japan was founded as the new Statistics Act of Japan came into effect in April 2009. Therefore, the basic philosophy was renewed from “Statistics for Administration” to “Statistics as the Social Information Infrastructure.”

   The Bureau is offering two services “Production and Provision of the Anonymized Data” and “Tailor-made Tabulations.” The aim is to contribute to the development of scholarly investigation and the development of higher education based on this Statistics Act. The Bureau has entrusted all the clerical work concerning these services to the National Statistics Center (the Center). (See Chapter VIII for more detail about the Center.)

   Anonymized Data means the questionnaire information which has been so arranged as not to identify the investigated individuals or enterprises, that it may be provided to general users for the development of academic research, etc.

   Tailor-made Tabulations means the provision of statistical tables which are made using the questionnaire information as ordered by the requestors. The aim is to contribute to the development of academic research, etc.

(1)-1 Provision of the Anonymized Data

   This is a system wherein an applicant who satisfies certain necessary conditions will be permitted to use the anonymized data for a certain period. After identifying the applicant and examining the requirements, such as the purpose of use, the method of data management and the publication method of research results, and so on, the Center provides the anonymized data to the appropriate applicant.

   It is possible to do positive analyses not only to make statistical tables that administrative bodies have not yet made, but also to do the multivariate analysis.

   The following anonymized data are available as of July 2014.

Name of the Survey

Conducted Year

Population Census

2000, 2005

Housing and Land Survey

1993, 1998, 2003

National Survey of Family Income and Expenditure

1989, 1994, 1999, 2004

Labour Force Survey

1989/01 - 2010/12

Employment Status Survey

1992, 1997, 2002

Survey on Time Use and Leisure Activities

1991, 1996, 2001, 2006

(1)-2 Tailor-made Tabulations

   This is a system wherein the applicant who satisfies certain necessary conditions may be provided the tabulation results. The Center makes tabulation according to the requested forms using the questionnaire information.

   It is possible to do analyses based on the new tables that administrative bodies have not yet made, using this system.

   The following data of the census and surveys are available for the tailor-made tabulations as of July 2014.

Name of the Survey

Conducted Year/Month


Population Census

1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010











Housing and Land Survey

1978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003, 2008, 2013

Family Income and Expenditure Survey

1981/01 - 2013/12

Survey of Household Economy

2002/01 - 2013/12

National Survey of Family Income and Expenditure

2004, 2009

Labour Force Survey

1980/01 - 2013/12

Employment Status Survey

1982, 1987, 1992, 1997, 2002, 2007, 2012

Survey on Time Use and Leisure Activities

1981, 1986, 1991, 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011

   MIC : Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications

4. Statistical Library and Statistical Museum

Statistical Library

   The Statistical Library has acquired a considerable volume of statistical materials since the Meiji-era (the late 19th century) as a library of statistical specialties.

   As for the book collection, the library now has around 270,000 domestic and foreign statistical books, including those of the Bureau’s.

   Bibliographic information can be retrieved via the bibliotheca search engine on the website of the library and the Statistics Bureau.

   Moreover, a consultation service concerning statistical information, such as the whereabouts of statistical data, is provided, and a “Statistical data FAQ” in which past consultation cases are given, is posted on the Statistics Bureau website.

   The Statistical Library is specified as a branch library of the National Diet Library.

Statistical Library

Statistical Museum

   The Statistical Museum was established on October 18 (Statistics Day in Japan) in 1991 in the annex to the Statistics Bureau building to mark the 120th anniversary of the Bureau. A document concerning statistics at the beginning of the Meiji-era, the start of material concerning the first Population Census, and old equipment, etc. have been exhibited in the pavilion. It introduces, in plain terms, the history of statistics and statistical systems used in statistical research via exhibits and panels, etc.

Statistical Museum

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