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News Bulletin

July 30, 2013


Projects of Open Data for Official Statistics

   As part of an initiative to promote open data for official statistics, the Statistics Bureau of Japan (SBJ) unveiled its new projects, of which the first, the trial provision of API access to e-Stat data sets, was launched this June.

   The SBJ has been disseminating important statistics on population, business and consumption for all parties who need information on the fundamentals and current status of Japan. The main conduit through which the SBJ has widely disseminated data is e-Stat.

(The Portal Site of official Statistics of Japan (e-Stat):

   Since open data initiatives are being facilitated throughout the whole government, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, which is leading the initiatives, is promoting the following three projects as top runners in this field, in collaboration with the National Statistics Center (NSTAC);

  1. Creation of an environment for advanced use of statistics data by API function
  2. Improvement of Statistics GIS
  3. Study of on-demand tabulation function

   This article introduces an abstract of these three projects.

I. Creation of an environment for advanced use of statistics data by API function

   API (Application Programming Interface) function was added to e-Stat enabling the conversion of statistics data to machine readable data as follows;

    -  The most recent data of e-Stat is automatically updated to the user's system

    -  Advanced analysis of statistics data by mash-up with other data of user or data available from the internet

   This function is considered to contribute to the empowerment of business activities, development of new businesses, improvement of government services and so on.

Creation of an environment for advanced use of statistics data by API function

   A trial run of API function has started from June on "Gateway to Advanced and User-friendly Statistics Service (GAUSS)" website, operated by the NSTAC.

   To use the trial run, please register as a user on the front page of the GAUSS website ( On registration, please confirm the terms of service.

   *You can access the GAUSS website from the SBJ or the NSTAC homepage. As of June 2013, the GAUSS website is in Japanese only.

II. Improvement of Statistics GIS

   To improve Statistics GIS on e-Stat, there is a new system under development that enables retrieving data held by users and analysis of statistics data in an arbitrarily designated area.

   It is scheduled that a trial run of this new GIS will start this autumn.

Improvement of Statistics GIS

III. Study of on-demand tabulation function

   A new statistics delivery service which puts out statistics table automatically when a user selects survey item is currently under study. This service will possibly be used by the public as well as the academic sector.

   It is expected that this new function will answer various needs such as academic research, enabling arbitrary cross tabulation which is not included in existing tables.

   *For practical use, there are some issues to be solved regarding operational and institutional aspects and confidentiality.

Study of on-demand tabulation function

   Considering that statistics is social information infrastructure, the SBJ and the NSTAC will keep on contributing socioeconomic development, achieving more convenient and advanced use of statistics by promoting the above three projects.

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