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Bank of Japan's Basic Principles for Statistics:

"The Basic Principles for the Compilation, Release, and Development of Statistics" and Present Priorities in the Development of Statistics*

  • This is an English translation of the Japanese original released on March 31, 2009.

June 12, 2009
Bank of Japan

Click on ron0906a.pdf (221KB) to download the full text.

Introduction

The Bank of Japan produces numerous statistics, including those for which it collects various data in order to reveal financial and economic developments, and those based on the Bank's daily transactions, all of which are then compiled and released.  In compiling, releasing, and developing these statistics, various efforts are being made in accordance with the basic principles stated in "Toward Further Improvement of Financial and Economic Statistics: The Bank's Basic Principles and Its Recent Actions," released in August 2002 (Bank of Japan [2002]).1

Meanwhile, in May 2007, the Japanese government carried out a full revision of the Statistics Act (Act No. 18 of 1947, hereafter referred to as the "Old Statistics Act") for the first time in 60 years.  The revised Statistics Act (Act No. 53 of 2007, hereafter referred to as the "New Statistics Act") will be come into effect from April 1, 2009.  The New Statistics Act, "recognizing that official statistics are critical information for the citizens in their reasonable decision making," stipulates that official statistics shall be developed in a systematic and efficient manner.  Only a few of the statistics compiled and released by the Bank (hereafter referred to as "Bank of Japan Statistics") were covered by the Old Statistics Act,2 but the New Statistics Act stipulates that all Bank of Japan Statistics are official statistics and requires that they be in accordance with the fundamental principles of the New Statistics Act.3

In March this year, the Cabinet decided on the "Basic Plan concerning the Development of Official Statistics" (hereafter referred to as the "Basic Plan"), in order to comprehensively and systematically promote measures pertaining to the development of official statistics.  The Basic Plan outlines in a concrete manner what official statistics should be, the range of obstacles facing the production of official statistics, including the deterioration of the survey environment and resource constraints, and measures to surmount such obstacles.

Under the New Statistics Act, all statistics compiled and released by the Bank are official statistics.  In addition, the government has outlined in a concrete manner various problems and priorities pertaining to official statistics and measures to counter them in its Basic Plan. The Bank therefore has decided to examine anew its basic principles for the compilation, release, and development of statistics, and to make them public.

In the following, the Bank will explain in somewhat greater detail its "Basic Principles for the Compilation, Release and Development of Statistics" (hereafter referred to as the "Basic Principles") along with a discussion of its recent actions in this regard and the present priorities in the development of statistics.

  1. In 2003, the Bank conducted an examination of its statistics and released its results in "Toukei Tenken no Kekka ni Tsuite (Results of an Examination of Statistics)" (Bank of Japan [2003]) (available only in Japanese).  The report summarizes the Bank's "basic principles for the compilation and release of statistics," which are in accordance with "Toward Further Improvement of Financial and Economic Statistics: The Bank's Basic Principles and Its Recent Actions" (Bank of Japan [2002]).
  2. The Old Statistics Act covered only three statistical surveys; namely, the Tankan (Short-Term Economic Survey of Enterprises in Japan) and surveys for compiling the Corporate Goods Price Index and the Corporate Services Price Index.
  3. The fundamental principles of the New Statistics Act are as follows:

Article 3

  1. (1) Official statistics shall be developed systematically through mutual cooperation and the appropriate sharing of roles among administrative organs, etc.
  2. (2) Official statistics shall be produced with appropriate and reasonable methodologies, so as to ensure neutrality and reliability.
  3. (3) Official statistics shall be provided widely for the citizens so that they are easily accessible for their effective use.
  4. (4) Confidential matters concerning individuals or juridical persons, or other organizations that were used for producing official statistics, shall be protected.