White Papers

This web page shows the definition, kinds and search methods of White Papers. The National Diet Library (NDL)'s Research Navi contains the search methods and link collections of White Papers in Japanese including Japan ― White Paper and Annual Reports and How to search White Paper.

1. Definition and Types of White Paper

In Japan, it is commonly understood that White Papers are government annual reports.

In accordance with the agreement among government ministries and agencies in 1963, White Papers are officially defined as "government publication materials edited by central government agencies, which are prepared to inform the nation of the status of politics, economics, societies and government measures."

Currently, publications of central government agencies termed as "White Papers" are:

  • Statutory White Papers
    Documents submitted by the Cabinet to the Diet upon Cabinet decision-based on laws.

White Papers distributed at Cabinet meetings
Documents distributed at Cabinet meetings and reported by relevant ministers.

Other White Papers

2. White Paper - Original office's edition and Trade edition

Documents with white covers submitted to the Diet on legal basis or distributed at Cabinet meetings are called "Original office's editions". Many of their titles do not contain the term "White Paper" but titled otherwise, for example "Annual Report on Promotion of Science and Technology".

On the other hand, documents with the same contents are sold commercially to inform the public of the policy status. Those documents are called "Trade editions". Many of them have the term "White Paper" in their titles and colorful covers.

There are many cases that original office's editions and trade editions show different publication years on their covers. This is because the original offices' editions show the year before the publication year on their covers as they are prepared as annual reports of the previous fiscal year, but trade editions tend to show the year of publication on their covers.

3. White Paper - Link Collection

The following websites contain link collections of White Papers.

Cabinet Office White PapersLeave the NDL website. (English)

4. List of White Papers

【Cabinet Secretariat】

【National Personnel Authority】

【Cabinet Office】

【Japan Fair Trade Commission】

【National Police Agency】

【Financial Services Agency】

【Consumer Affairs Agency】

【Reconstruction Agency】

【Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications】

【Ministry of Justice】

【Ministry of Justice / Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology】

【Ministry of Foreign Affairs】

【National Tax Agency】

【Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology】

【Agency for Cultural Affairs】

【Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare】

【Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries】

【Forestry Agency】

【Fisheries Agency】

【Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry】

【Agency for Natural Resources and Energy】

【Japan Patent Office】

【Small and Medium Enterprise Agency】

【Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism】

【Japan Marine Accident Tribunal】

【Japan Tourism Agency】

【Japan Coast Guard】

【Ministry of the Environment】

【Nuclear Regulation Authority】

【Ministry of Defense】