Public Archives Act

Act No. 115 of December 15, 1987
(Latest amendment: Act No. 161 of December 22, 1999)

    This English translation of this Act has been prepared (up to the revisions of Act No. 76 of July 10, 2009) in compliance with the Standard Legal Terms Dictionary (March 26, 2010 Edition) supervised by Japanese Law Translation Council.
    This is an unofficial translation. Only the original Japanese texts of laws and regulations have legal effect, and translations are to be used solely as reference material to aid in the understanding of Japanese laws and regulations.
    The National Archives of Japan will not be responsible for the accuracy, reliability or currency of the legislative material provided here, or for any consequence resulting from use of the information. For all purposes of interpreting and applying the law to any legal issue or dispute, users should consult the original Japanese texts published in the Official Gazette.

Article 1
  The purpose of this Act is, in consideration of the importance of preserving and providing for use public records and archives as historical materials, to prescribe necessary matters concerning public archives.
Article 2
  The term “Public Records and Archives” as used in this Act shall mean public records and archives, as well as other documents (excluding current ones), retained by the State or local public entities.
Article 3
  The State and local public entities shall have the responsibility of taking appropriate measures with regard to preservation and use of Public Records and Archives that are important as historical materials.
(Public Archives)
Article 4
  A public archives shall be a facility intended for preserving and providing for public inspection Public Records and Archives that are important as historical materials (including official documents and other records which were retained by the State; the same shall apply in the following paragraph), as well as conducting research and study related thereto.
(2) A public archives shall have a president, specialists who conduct research and study on Public Records and Archives that are important as historical materials, and other necessary officials.

Article 5
  A public archives shall, in addition to what is provided for in the National Archives Act (Act No. 79 of 1999), be established by the State or local public entities.
(2) When a local public entity establishes a public archives, matters concerning said establishment shall be prescribed by an ordinance of said local public entity.
(Funding etc.)
Article 6
  The State shall endeavor to provide or arrange financing necessary to establish public archives for local public entities.
(Technical Guidance etc.)
Article 7
  The Prime Minister may, upon request, give local public entities technical guidance or advice with regard to the management of public archives.

Supplementary Provisions (Extract)

(Effective Date)
(1) This Act shall come into effect as from the date specified by a Cabinet Order within a period not exceeding six months from the day of promulgation. (Put into effect by Cabinet Order No. 166 of 1988 as of June 1, 1988)

(Special Provisions regarding Specialists)
(2) For the time being, a public archives established by local public entities may refrain from having the specialists as provided for in Article 4, paragraph 2.


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