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A Study on the Records and Archives Management System in Japan : Focusing on the Electronic Public Documents Management

  • The Korean Journal of Archival Studies
  • 2015, (45), pp.219-253
  • Publisher : Korean Society Of Archival Studies
  • Research Area : Interdisciplinary Studies > Library and Information Science

KyoungYong, YI 1

1한국국가기록원

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The Records Management System in Japan has been developed to a comprehensive and unitary records management system based on the records life-cycle principle from the enactment of ‘the Public Records and Archives Management Act’ in 2009 and its implementation in April, 2011. The scope of objects has also been extended to documents of independent administrative institutions and specific confidential documents on diplomacy and defense. In addition, a series of Electronic Documents Management Systems have been built for the transfer of electronic records to the National Archives of Japan, which is called the Electronic Records Archives of Japan, in connection with the records and archives management systems covering creation, management, transfer, preservation, and use of electronic records. This paper deals with the core contents and characteristics of the records management system of Japan, focusing on the operational structure of the records and archives management law and electronic documents management. Firstly, The Cabinet Office and professional groups in records and archives management started to work on reformation of the records management system from 2003 and resulted in enactment of the Public Records and Archives Management Act in 2009. In that sense, the Public Records and Archives Management Act can be evaluated as a result of constant activities of the records management community in Japan for realization of accountabilities of government agencies to the general public. Secondly, the Public Records Management Act of Japan has a coherent multi-layer structure from the law, enforcement ordinances, guidelines, and to institutional documents management regulations in the operational system. This is a systematic structure for providing practical business units of each administrative agency with detailed standards on the basis of guidelines and making them to prepare their own specific application standards related to their unique businesses. Unlike the past, the National Archives of Japan became to be able to identify specific historial documents which should be transferred to the archives by selecting important historical records as early as possible after creating and receiving them in each institution through the retention schedule. Thirdly, Japan started to operate a system in regard to electronic records transfer and preservation in 2011. In order to prepare for it, each administrative agency has used EDMS in creation and management of electronic records. A Guideline for the Standard Format and Media released by the Cabinet Office in 2010 is also for the transfer of electronic records to the Electronic Records Archives of Japan. In future, it is necessary to conduct further studies on activities of the records and archives management community in Japan, relating to long-term preservation and use of electronic records.

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