The Official Gazette plays an important role in the promulgation of laws, ordinances, treaties and other national commitments, the release of reports and materials compiled by various governmental organs, and the publication of pronouncements in accordance with legal provisions. Japan's first Official Gazette was issued in 1883 (Meiji 16). The publication was initially edited and issued by the Cabinet Document Bureau. These tasks were then assumed by the Cabinet Official Gazette Bureau, the Cabinet Printing Bureau and then the Printing Bureau under the Ministry of Finance. The Official Gazette has been issued daily, except on administrative holidays, by the National Printing Bureau which has been an incorporated administrative agency since 2003 (Heisei 15).
The Official Gazette for the past 30 days (regular editions, extra editions and government procurements, etc.) is available free of charge in PDF format.
A paid Internet subscription service is available to allow searching of the Official Gazette (regular editions, extra editions, government procurement pronouncements, materials and indexes).
Laws promulgated through the Official Gazette include the Constitution, Imperial Rescripts, laws, government and ministerial ordinances, treaties and notifications. Promulgation is defined as “informing the general public of a law that has been established by publishing the details thereof. A statute law is established by completing a certain legislative procedure, but in order to become binding it must meet the requirements for promulgation.” (Source: Horei Yogo Jiten (Dictionary of Legal Terms) from Gakuyo Shobo)
According to a Supreme Court precedent, “it was deemed appropriate to promulgate laws through the Official Gazette, and the timing of promulgation was set at the time the Official Gazette was posted at the Head Office of the Printing Bureau and the Tokyo Sales Office of the Official Gazette, i.e., every weekday morning at 8:30.”
Even today, the Official Gazette is posted on the bulletin board of the Bureau's Head Office and the Tokyo Sales Office of the Official Gazette every weekday morning at 8:30.
The Official Gazette is issued to announce decisions from national and local government bodies to the general public, and contains articles on important matters relating to the acquisition or loss of rights and obligations.
As the Official Gazette is published on specific dates, its volume varies from day to day and extra editions may be published in addition to regular editions. Special editions are issued in the event of emergencies.
- Regular edition
- published daily except on administrative holidays
- published once a month
- Extra edition
- content that cannot be sufficiently listed in the regular edition is published in extra editions. Information includes government procurements, special editions for urgent matters and minutes of the sessions of the National Diet Lower House and Upper House, etc.
- Special Edition
- urgent promulgation and pronouncements of laws at the request of the Prime Minister in the event of emergencies such as natural disasters
Work flow article creation to delivery/distribution
To purchase or request a subscription to the Official Gazette
Requests for a regular subscription to the Official Gazette can be made at one of 48 Official Gazette Sales Offices nationwide.
Applications can also be made online via the website of the Official Gazette Co-Operation of Japan.