Wednesday, October 15, 2014


 Japanese government data catalog site, “DATA.GO.JP” was launched on October 1, 2014. It is provided by the Strategic Headquarters for the Promotion of an Advanced Information and Telecommunications Network Society (IT Strategic Headquarters) in Cabinet Secretariat. 

 The Japanese government is promoting the Open Data initiative, in which the government widely discloses public data in machine-readable formats and allows secondary use of the public data for profit-making or other purposes. This initiative has the goals of improving people's lives and stimulating corporate activities, thereby contributing to social and economic development of Japan.
   This website serves as a catalog of this Open Data, and is intended to provide information about public data available for secondary use. The website provides extensive search capabilities.

   In this site, people can search government data from top page. Main contents of this page are the following:

<Main Contents>
l  Data (21 government organization, 12347 datasets)
l   Terms of use
l  Open Data Initiatives (Policies and Decisions about Open Data)
l   Communication (Requests & Feedback)
l   Developers
l   Statistics

   In DATA.GOV.JP, 40.6% of all datasets are in PDF format, and second largest format is in HTML which is 33.6%. Most PDF datasets are documents of government budget and final accounts and procurement, and most HTML datasets are white papers and annual report.  There is a table of comparison of the government open data format between Japan and USA.

Data Formats
(number of data)
 From the perspective of covering a large volume of data, this site includes past data in non-machine-readable formats. However, from the perspective of using secondary data, Japanese datasets are expected to be CSV, XML, and JSON instead of PDF because datasets that have their data in PDF are not readable and cannot be edited easily.
  In statistics page, we can see visitors from other countries for the current month. Today(2014/10/15), the largest visitors’ country is Japan, second is USA, third is unidentified(!), forth is China. 
 In addition, according to Japanese government IT dashboard that provides statistics information about DATA.GO.JP, 96.9% of data in “DATA.GO.JP” are provided in Japanese.

  About communication, there are no comments and feedbacks. One reason is that it has been only 15days since it was launched.

Case of using public data in Japan
<Book search service “Calil”>(Sorry, It has only Japanese page)
 This is the searching service of books across 5,200 libraries in Japan. Using this service, the users can see the status of the books whether the books are available or not. Additional information about the book posted on “” and link to the online bookstore are also displayed in the same page. In case the books are not available in any libraries, the user can go to online bookstore by clicking the link displayed.

 I hope that this open government data will be used for creating new services and new value.

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