History of Official Gazette

Prior to Publication

Date Event
Prior to 1873
(Meiji 6)

Prior to 1873 (Meiji 6), notification of laws to the general public was conducted through the Kosatsu system of the Shogunate era.

(Keio 4)

From 1868 (Keio 4) to 1878 (Meiji 10), the official publication of the Great Council of State (Dajokan nisshi) , which is generally known as the predecessor of the Official Gazette, was published.

Stanhope printing press (important cultural asset), which was used to print the Cabinet Official Gazette Bureau Journal.

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Meiji Era

Date Event
(Meiji 4) Jul.

First Official Gazette was published (July 2).
*The title “官報” (Official Gazette) was written in calligraphy by Sanetomi Sanjo, the Daijo-daijin (Chancellor of the Realm) at that time.

(Meiji 19) Feb.
The Kobunshiki (Imperial Edict No. 1) was promulgated.
(Article 10: All laws shall be promulgated by means of the Official Gazette;
and shall become effective no later than seven days after the arrival of the Official Gazette at each prefectural government office.)
(Meiji 22) Mar.
Constitution of the Empire of Japan was promulgated.
(Meiji 23) Sep.
The Director of the Cabinet Official Gazette Bureau purchased two rotary printing presses (Marinoni printing press of France) in Europe.
(Meiji 24) Apr.
All tasks relating to the printing of the Official Gazette were transferred from the Cabinet Official Gazette Bureau to the Printing Bureau.
(Meiji 31) Nov.
The Cabinet Document Bureau and the Cabinet Printing Bureau were integrated and became an external bureau of the Cabinet Office, and the Official Gazette Section was established within the bureau to succeed publication of the Official Gazette.
(Meiji 40) Feb.
The Koshikirei (Imperial Edict No. 6) was promulgated. (Article 12: The official documents of the preceding articles shall be promulgated by means of the Official Gazette.)
(Meiji 45) Jul.
Emperor Meiji passed away. The Taisho era began on July 30, and Edition No. 8734 became the last Official Gazette of the Meiji era.

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Taisho Era

Date Event
(Taisho 10) Jan.
The Official Gazette sales system was revised and 55 Official Gazette Sales Offices (in the 47 prefectures) were established throughout the nation.
(Taisho 12) Sep.
Great Kanto Earthquake occurred.
Mimeographed copies of the Official Gazette were published.
(Taisho 15) Dec.
Emperor Taisho passed away. The Showa era began on December 25, and Edition No. 4303 became the last Official Gazette of the Taisho era.

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Showa Era

Date Event
(Showa 12) Oct.
First National Official Gazette Sales Office General Managers Meeting was held.
(Showa 13) Feb.

The Weekly Photographic Bulletin was published (Ceased publication in 1945).

(Showa 21) Apr.

English Version of the Official Gazette was published (Ceased publication in April 1952).

(Showa 21) Nov.
The Constitution of Japan was promulgated.
(Showa 22) May
Enforcement of the Constitution of Japan. The Koshikirei was rescinded.
(Showa 22) Nov.
“The Commodity Price Edition” was published as an extra edition of the Official Gazette
(Ceased publication in March 1952).
(Showa 28) Jul.
The “Reference Edition” was published as an appendix to the Official Gazette.
(Showa 31) Jan.
Editorial reforms of the Official Gazette
(Showa 32) Dec.
The Supreme Court ruled that the method of promulgation of laws shall be by Official Gazette in the case of violation of Cabinet Order No. 201.
(Showa 48) Apr.
“A Law Digest” column was added to the Official Gazette.
(Showa 52) Jan.
The computer typesetting system was adopted for a portion of the typesetting task of the Official Gazette.
(Showa 56) Jan.
The listing of public notices of government procurements commenced.
(Showa 58) Jul.
100th Anniversary of the Official Gazette
(Showa 63) Mar.
Electronic processing of the regular edition of the Official Gazette commenced.
(Showa 64) Jan.
Emperor Showa passed away. The Heisei era began on January 8, and Edition No. 18559 became the last Official Gazette of the Showa era.

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Heisei Era

Date Event
(Heisei 4) May
Saturday has become an administrative holiday.
(Heisei 6) Jun.
An extra edition of the Official Gazette, “Pronouncement of Government Procurement Edition” was published.
(Heisei 7) Jan.
Official Gazette data provision commenced on the Prime Minister's official website.
(Heisei 7) Apr.
JETRO commenced public notices of government procurement on its website.
(Heisei 11) Nov.

“The Online Official Gazette Service” commenced.

The Online Official Gazette Service (Japanese Only)External Links

(Heisei 13) Sep.
(Heisei 19) Mar.
The “Reference Edition,” an appendix to the Official Gazette, ceased publication.
(Heisei 31) Apr.
Emperor abdicated. The Reiwa era began on May 1, and Edition No. 7497 became the last Official Gazette of the Heisei era.

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