Act on Access to Information Held by Administrative Organs


Published: 2004

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Act on Access to Information Held by Administrative

Organs

(Act No. 42 of May 14, 1999)

Chapter I General Provisions

(Purpose)

Article 1 The purpose of this Act is, in accordance with the principle of

sovereignty of the people, and by providing for the right to request the

disclosure of administrative documents, etc., to endeavor towards greater

disclosure of information held by administrative organs thereby ensuring to

achieve accountability of the Government to the citizens for its various

activities, and to contribute to the promotion of a fair and democratic

administration that is subject to the citizens' appropriate understanding and

criticism.

(Definitions)

Article 2 (1) The term "Administrative Organ" as used in this Act shall mean the

following organs.

(i) Organs within the Cabinet (excluding the Cabinet Office) or organs under

the jurisdiction of the Cabinet that were established pursuant to the

provisions of Acts.

(ii) The Cabinet Office, the Imperial Household Agency, and organs prescribed

in Article 49, paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Act for Establishment of the Cabinet

Office (Act No. 89 of 1999) (Provided that those organs establish the organ

designated by the Cabinet Order set forth in item 4, the organ designated by

that Cabinet Order is excluded.).

(iii) Organs prescribed in Article 3, paragraph 2 of the National Government

Organization Act (Act No. 120 of 1948) (Provided that those organs establish

the organ designated by the Cabinet Order set forth in item 5 , the organ

designated by that Cabinet Order is excluded.).

(iv) Organs set forth in Articles 39 and 55 of the Act for Establishment of the

Cabinet Office and in Article 16, paragraph 2 of the Imperial Household

Agency Act (Act No. 70 of 1947), and extraordinary organs set forth in

Articles 40 and 56 (including the cases where it is applied mutatis mutandis

pursuant to Article 18, paragraph 1 of the Imperial Household Agency Act),

that are designated by a Cabinet Order.

(v) Facilities and other organs set forth in Article 8-2 of the National

Government Organization Act, and extraordinary organs set forth in Article

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8-3 of the same Act, that are designated by a Cabinet Order.

(vi) The Board of Audit

(2) The term "Administrative Document" as used in this Act shall mean a

document, picture, and electromagnetic record (a record made by an electronic

method, a magnetic method, or any other method not recognizable to human

senses; the same shall apply hereinafter.), that, having been prepared or

obtained by an employee of an administrative organ in the course of his or her

duties, is held by the administrative organ concerned for organizational use by

its employees; Provided, however, that the followings shall be excluded:

(i) Items published for the purpose of selling to many and unspecified persons,

such as official gazettes, white papers, newspapers, magazines, and books.

(ii) Items that are, pursuant to the provisions of a Cabinet Order, specially

managed as either historical or cultural materials, or as materials for

academic research in the National Archives or other organs designated by a

Cabinet Order.

Chapter II Disclosure of Administrative Documents

(Right to Request Disclosure)

Article 3 Any person may, pursuant to the provisions of this Act, request the

head of an Administrative Organ (Provided that the organ is designated by the

Cabinet Order set forth in the preceding Article, paragraph 1, items 4 and 5,

the person designated for each organ by a Cabinet Order. The same shall apply

hereinafter.) the disclosure of Administrative Documents held by the

Administrative Organ concerned.

(Procedure of for Disclosure Request)

Article 4 (1) A request for disclosure pursuant to the provision of the preceding

Article (hereinafter referred to as a "Disclosure Request.") shall be made by

submitting a document describing the matters listed in the following items

(hereinafter referred to as the "Written Disclosure Request.") to the head of an

Administrative Organ.

(i) Name and domicile or residence of the person making the Disclosure

Request, and the name of a representative in the case of a juridical person or

other entities.

(ii) Name of the Administrative Documents or other matters sufficient for

specifying the Administrative Documents pertaining to the Disclosure

Request.

(2) When the head of an Administrative Organ finds that there is a deficiency in

the form of the Written Disclosure Request, he or she may, setting a reasonable

period of time, ask the person having made the Disclosure Request (hereinafter

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referred to as the "Disclosure Requester.") to amend the request. In this case,

the head of the Administrative Organ shall endeavor to provide the Disclosure

Requester with information that will be helpful in the amendment.

(Obligation to disclose Administrative Documents)

Article 5 When there is a Disclosure Request, unless any of the information

listed in each of the following items (hereinafter referred to as "Non-Disclosure

Information.") is recorded in the Administrative Documents pertaining to the

Disclosure Request, the head of an Administrative Organ shall disclose said

Administrative Documents to the Disclosure Requester.

(i) Information concerning an individual (excluding information concerning the

business of an individual who operates the said business.), where it is

possible to identify a specific individual from a name, date of birth or other

description, etc., contained in the information concerned (including cases

where it is possible to identify a specific individual through comparing the

said information with other information.), or when it is not possible to

identify a specific individual, but disclosure of the said information is likely

to cause harm to the rights and interests of an individual; provided however,

that the following information shall be excluded:

(a) Information that is made public, or information that is scheduled to be

made public, pursuant to the provisions of laws and regulations or by

custom.

(b) Information which is found necessary to be disclosed in order to protect a

person's life, health, livelihood, or property.

(c) In the case that the said individual is a Public Officer, etc. (national

public officers prescribed in Article 2, paragraph 1 of the National Public

Officer Act [Act No. 120 of 1947] [excluding officers and employees of the

specified incorporated administrative agencies prescribed in Article 2,

paragraph 2 of the Act on General Rules for Incorporated Administrative

Agency (Act No. 103 of 1999) and of the Japan Post]; officers and

employees of the Incorporated Administrative Agencies, etc. (meaning the

incorporated administrative agencies, etc. prescribed in Article 2,

paragraph 1 of the Act on Access to Information Held by Incorporated

Administrative Agencies (Act No. 140 of 2001. Hereinafter referred to as

"Incorporated Administrative Agency, etc. Information Disclosure Act");

local public officers prescribed in Article 2 of the Local Public Officer Act

(Act No. 261 of 1950).); and officers and employees of the Local

Incorporated Administrative Agencies [which means local incorporated

administrative agencies prescribed in Article 2, paragraph 1 of the Act on

Local Incorporated Administrative Agencies(Act No. 118 of 2003).The same

shall apply hereinafter.]), and when the said information is one pertaining

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to the performance of his or her duties, the portion of the said information

pertaining to the job of the said Public Officer, etc. and the substance of

the said performance of duties.

(ii) Information concerning a juridical person or other entities (excluding the

State, Incorporated Administrative Agencies, etc., local public entities and

Local Incorporated Administrative Agencies. hereinafter referred to as a

"Juridical Person, etc."), or information concerning the business of an

individual who operates the said business, which corresponds to the

following, provided; however, that information which is found necessary to be

disclosed in order to protect a person's life, health, livelihood, or property

shall be excluded.

(a) Information which when disclosed is likely to cause harm to the rights,

competitive position, or other legitimate interests of the said Juridical

Persons, etc. or of the said individual.

(b) Information customarily not disclosed by the Judicial Person, etc. or the

individual, which has been voluntarily provided in response to a request by

an Administrative Organ on the condition of non-disclosure, or information

for which it is found reasonable to set such a condition in light of the

nature of the information or the circumstances at the time.

(iii) Information for which there are reasonable grounds for the head of an

Administrative Organ to find that disclosure is likely to cause harm to

national security, cause damage to the relationship of mutual trust with

another country or an international organization, or cause a disadvantage in

negotiations with another country or an international organization.

(iv) Information for which there are reasonable grounds for the head of an

Administrative Organ to find that disclosure is likely to cause impediments

to prevention, suppression or investigation of crimes, the maintenance of

prosecutions, the execution of punishment, and other matters concerning

maintenance of public safety and public order.

(v) Information concerning deliberations, examinations or consultations

internally conducted by or mutually conducted between state organs,

Incorporated Administrative Agencies, etc., local public entities and Local

Incorporated Administrative Agencies, where disclosure is likely to cause

unjust harm to the open exchange of opinions or the neutrality of decision

making, cause unjust confusion among citizens, or bring unjust advantages

or disadvantages to specific individuals.

(vi) Information concerning the affairs or business conducted by a state organ,

an Incorporated Administrative Agency, etc., a local public entity or a Local

Incorporated Administrative Agency, where disclosure is likely to have the

following risks or is likely to hinder the proper execution of the said affairs

or business due to the nature of the said affairs or business.

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(a) Risk of making it difficult to understand accurately facts concerning

affairs pertaining to audits, inspections, supervision, examinations, or

imposition or collection of tax, or facilitating wrongful acts regarding such

affairs, or making it difficult to discover such acts.

(b) Risk of causing unjust damage to the property benefit of the State, an

Incorporated Administrative Agency, etc., a local public entities or a Local

Incorporated Administrative Agency concerning affairs pertaining to

contracts, negotiations or administrative objections and litigations.

(c) Risk of causing unjust hindrance to the fair and efficient execution of

affairs pertaining to research and study.

(d) Risk of causing hindrance to the maintenance of impartial and smooth

personnel practices in the affairs pertaining to personal management.

(e) Risk of causing damage to the legitimate interests arising from corporate

management with regard to the business of an enterprise managed by the

State or a local public entity, an Incorporated Administrative Agency, etc.,

or a Local Incorporated Administrative Agency.

(Partial Disclosure)

Article 6 (1) In the case that Non-Disclosure Information is recorded in a part of

an Administrative Document pertaining to a Disclosure Request, when it is

possible to easily divide and exclude the portion in which the Non-Disclosure

Information is recorded, the head of an Administrative Organ shall disclose to

the Disclosure Requester the portion other than the excluded portion; provided,

however, that this shall not apply when it is found that no meaningful

information is recorded in the portion other than the excluded portion.

(2) In the case that the information set forth in item 1 of the preceding Article

(limited to information that can identify a specific individual.) is recorded in an

Administrative Document pertaining to a Disclosure Request, and if by

excluding the portion of the description, etc., that can identify the specific

individual, such as a name or date of birth from the said information, it is

found that disclosure of the information is not likely to cause damage to the

rights and interests of an individual , the preceding paragraph shall be applied

by deeming the portion other than the excluded portion as not being included

in the information prescribed in the same item.

(Discretionary Disclosure for Public Interest Grounds)

Article 7 Even in the case that Non-Disclosure Information is recorded in

Administrative Documents pertaining to a Disclosure Request, when the head

of an Administrative Organ finds that there is a particular public interest

necessity, he or she may disclose those Administrative Documents to the

Disclosure Requester.

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(Information concerning the Existence of Administrative Documents)

Article 8 When Non-Disclosure Information will be disclosed by merely

answering whether or not the Administrative Documents pertaining to a

Disclosure Request exist, the head of an Administrative Organ, without

making clear the existence or non-existence of the Administrative Documents,

may refuse the Disclosure Request.

(Measures concerning Disclosure Requests)

Article 9 (1) When disclosing all or a part of the Administrative Documents

pertaining to a Disclosure Request, the head of an Administrative Organ shall

make a decision to that effect, and notify the Disclosure Requester to that

effect and matters designated by a Cabinet Order relating to the

implementation of disclosure in writing.

(2) When not disclosing any of the Administrative Documents pertaining to a

Disclosure Request (including when refusing a Disclosure Request pursuant to

the provision of the preceding Article and when Administrative Documents

pertaining to a Disclosure Request are not held.), the head of an

Administrative Organ shall make a decision to the effect of non-disclosure and

notify the Disclosure Requester to that effect in writing.

(Due Date for Disclosure Decisions, Etc.)

Article 10 (1) The decisions set forth in the respective items of the preceding

Article (hereinafter referred to as "Disclosure Decisions, etc.") shall be made

within thirty days from the date of a Disclosure Request; provided, however,

that in the case where an amendment is requested pursuant to the provision of

Article 4, paragraph 2, the number of days required for the amendment shall

not be included within this period of time.

(2) Notwithstanding the provision of the preceding paragraph, when there are

justifiable grounds such as difficulties arising from the conduct of affairs, the

head of an Administrative Organ may extend the period of time prescribed in

the same paragraph for up to thirty days. In this case, the head of an

Administrative Organ shall without delay notify the Disclosure Requester in

writing of the extended period and the grounds for the extension.

(Exception to the Due Date for Disclosure Decisions, Etc.)

Article 11 In the case that there is a considerably large amount of

Administrative Documents pertaining to a Disclosure Request, and that there

is a risk that the performance of duties may be considerably hindered by

making Disclosure Decisions, etc. for all of them within sixty days from the

date of a Disclosure Request, notwithstanding the provision of the preceding

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Article, it would be sufficient for the head of an Administrative Organ to make

Disclosure Decisions, etc. for a reasonable portion of the Administrative

Documents pertaining to a Disclosure Request within the said period of time,

and to make Disclosure Decisions, etc. for the remaining Administrative

Documents within a reasonable period of time. In this case, the head of an

Administrative Organ shall within the period of time prescribed in paragraph 1

of the same Article notify the Disclosure Requester in writing of the following

matters:

(i) The application of this Article and the grounds for its application.

(ii) Due date for making Disclosure Decisions, etc. for the remaining

Administrative Documents.

(Transfer of a Case)

Article 12 (1) The head of an Administrative Organ may, when there is a

justifiable ground for the head of another Administrative Organ to make

Disclosure Decisions, etc., such as when Administrative Documents pertaining

to a Disclosure Request were prepared by that Administrative Organ, upon

consulting with the head of that Administrative Organ, transfer the case to the

head of that Administrative Organ. In this case, the head of the Administrative

Organ who has transferred the case shall notify the Disclosure Requester in

writing to the effect that the case was transferred.

(2) When a case has been transferred pursuant to the provision of the preceding

paragraph, the head of the Administrative Organ who has received the transfer

shall make the Disclosure Decisions, etc. for the Disclosure Request. In this

case, the acts prior to transfer by the head of the Administrative Organ who

has transferred the case shall be deemed to be those of the head of the

administrative organ who has received the transfer.

(3) In the case referred to in the preceding paragraph, when the head of the

Administrative Organ who has received the transfer makes a decision set forth

in Article 9, paragraph 1 (hereinafter referred to as a "Disclosure Decision."),

the head of that Administrative Organ shall implement disclosure. In this case,

the head of the Administrative Organ who has transferred the case shall

cooperate as necessary in the implementation of that disclosure.

(Transfer of a Case to the Incorporated Administrative Agency, etc.)

Article 12-2 (1) When there is a justifiable ground for an Incorporated

Administrative Agency, etc. to make the Disclosure Decisions, etc. prescribed

in Article 10, paragraph 1 of Incorporated Administrative Agency, etc.

Information Disclosure Act, such as when Administrative Documents

pertaining to a Disclosure Request was provided by that Incorporated

Administrative Agency, etc., the head of an Administrative Organ may, upon

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consulting with the Incorporated Administrative Agency, etc., transfer the case

to that Incorporated Administrative Agency, etc. In this case, the head of the

Administrative Organ who has transferred the case shall notify the Disclosure

Requester in writing to the effect that the case was transferred.

(2) When a case has been transferred pursuant to the provision of the preceding

paragraph, the provisions of the Incorporated Administrative Agency etc.

Information Disclosure Act shall be applied to the transferred case by deeming

the Administrative Documents to be the Corporate Documents prescribed in

Article 2, paragraph 2 of the Incorporated Administrative Agency, etc.

Information Disclosure Act, held by the Incorporated Administrative Agency,

etc. which has received the transfer; and deeming the Disclosure Request to be

the Disclosure Request prescribed in Article 4, paragraph 1 of the Incorporated

Administrative Agency, etc. Information Disclosure Act, submitted to the

Incorporated Administrative Agency, etc. which has received the transfer, In

this case, the terms "Article 4, paragraph 2" in Article 10, paragraph 1 of the

Incorporated Administrative Agency, etc. Information Disclosure Act shall be

deemed to be replaced with "Article 4, paragraph 2 of the Act on Access to

Information Held by Administrative Organs (Act No. 42 of 1999)"; and the

terms "The person who makes a Disclosure Request and the person who

obtains the disclosure of Corporate Documents," "shall pay respectively" and "a

fee for the Disclosure Request and a fee" in Article 17, paragraph 1 of the

Incorporated Administrative Agency, etc. Information Disclosure Act shall be

deemed to be replaced respectively with "The person who obtains the disclosure

of Corporate Documents," "shall pay" and "a fee".

(3) When a case has been transferred pursuant to the provision of paragraph 1

and the Incorporated Administrative Agency, etc. which has received the

transfer implements disclosure, the head of the Administrative Organ who has

transferred the case shall cooperate as necessary in the implementation of

disclosure.

(Granting a Third Party an opportunity to submit a written opinion, Etc.)

Article 13 (1) When information concerning a person other than the State, an

Incorporated Administrative Agency, etc., a local public entity, a Local

Incorporated Administrative Agency and the Disclosure Requester (hereinafter

referred to as a "Third Party." in this Article, Article 19, and Article 20) is

recorded in the Administrative Documents pertaining to a Disclosure Request,

the head of an Administrative Organ, when making Disclosure Decisions, etc.,

may notify the Third Party pertaining to the information of an indication of the

Administrative Documents pertaining to the Disclosure Request and other

matters designated by a Cabinet Order, and may grant him or her an

opportunity to submit a written opinion.

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(2) In the cases that fall under any of the following items, before making a

Disclosure Decision, the head of an Administrative Organ shall notify the

Third Party in writing of an indication of the documents pertaining to the

Disclosure Request and other matters designated by a Cabinet Order, and shall

grant him or her an opportunity to submit a written opinion; provided, however,

that this shall not apply to the case that the Third Party's location is unknown.

(i) When the Administrative Documents in which information concerning a

Third Party is recorded are to be disclosed, and when it is found that the said

information falls under the information prescribed in Article 5, item 1, (b) or

in the proviso of item 2 of the same Article.

(ii) When the Administrative Documents in which information concerning a

Third Party is recorded are to be disclosed pursuant to the provision of

Article 7.

(3) In the case that the Third Party who was granted an opportunity to submit a

written opinion pursuant to the provisions of the preceding two paragraphs

submits a written opinion manifesting the intention of opposition to disclosure

of the Administrative Documents concerned, the head of the Administrative

Organ, when making a Disclosure Decision, shall place at least two weeks

between the day of the Disclosure Decision and the day that disclosure will be

implemented. In this case, upon making the Disclosure Decision the head of

the Administrative Organ shall immediately notify the Third Party who

submitted the written opinion (referred to as a "Written Opposition Opinion"

In Article 18 and 19) in writing to the effect that the Disclosure Decision was

made and the grounds for its decision, and the date of implementation of

disclosure.

(Implementation of Disclosure)

Article 14 (1) The disclosure of Administrative Documents shall be implemented

by inspection or by the delivery of copies for documents or pictures, and for

Electromagnetic Records by methods designated by a Cabinet Order which take

into consideration such matters as the type of the record and the state of

development of information technology; provided, however, that when

disclosure of an Administrative Document is to be implemented by the

inspection method, if the head of an Administrative Organ finds that the

inspection is likely to hinder the preservation of the Administrative Documents,

or for other justifiable grounds, a copy of the documents or pictures may be

provided for inspection.

(2) The person who will obtain disclosure of Administrative Documents based

upon a Disclosure Decision, pursuant to the provision of a Cabinet Order, shall

indicate his or her desired method of implementation of disclosure and other

matters designated by a Cabinet Order to the head of the Administrative

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Organ who has made the Disclosure Decision.

(3) The indication pursuant to the provision of the preceding paragraph shall be

made within thirty days from the date of the notice prescribed in Article 9,

paragraph 1; provided, however, that this shall not apply when there are

justifiable grounds for being unable to make the indication within this period

of time.

(4) The person who has obtained disclosure of Administrative Documents based

upon a Disclosure Decision may, within thirty days from the date of obtaining

the first disclosure, request the head of the Administrative Organ to the effect

of obtaining further disclosure. In this case the proviso of the preceding

paragraph shall apply mutatis mutandis.

(Coordination with Disclosure Implemented by Other Laws and Regulations)

Article 15 (1) In the case that, pursuant to the provisions of other laws and

regulations, Administrative Documents pertaining to a Disclosure Request are

to be disclosed to any person by the same method prescribed in the main clause

of paragraph 1 of the preceding Article (When the period of time for disclosure

is provided for, limited to within that period of time.), notwithstanding the

main clause of the same paragraph, the head of the Administrative Organ shall

not disclose those Administrative Documents by that same method; provided,

however, that this shall not apply when there is a provision in other laws and

regulations to the effect that disclosure shall not be implemented in certain

cases.

(2) When the disclosure method designated by the provisions of the other laws

and regulations is public inspection, the preceding paragraph shall be applied

by deeming the said public inspection to be the inspection set forth in the main

clause of paragraph 1 of the preceding Article.

(Fees)

Article 16 (1) The person who makes a Disclosure Request, and the person who

obtains the disclosure of Administrative Documents shall, pursuant to the

provisions of a Cabinet Order, pay a fee pertaining to the Disclosure Request

and a fee pertaining to the implementation of disclosure of an amount specified

within the scopes of actual costs by a Cabinet Order respectively.

(2) When setting the amount of the fee set forth in the preceding paragraph,

consideration shall be given to make the amount as affordable as possible.

(3) When it finds that there is economic hardship or other special grounds,

pursuant to the provisions of a Cabinet Order, the head of an Administrative

Organ may grant a reduction of or an exemption from the fee set forth in

paragraph 1.

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(Delegation of Authority or Affairs)

Article 17 The head of an Administrative Organ, pursuant to the provisions of a

Cabinet Order (In the case of organs under the jurisdiction of the Cabinet and

the Board of Audit, orders of those organs.), may delegate to an employee of

that Administrative Organ the authority or affairs prescribed in this Chapter.

Chapter III Objections, Etc.

(Consulting the Review Board)

Article 18 When there is an objection to a Disclosure Decision, etc. pursuant to

the provisions of the Administrative Appeal Act (Act No. 160 of 1962), the head

of the Administrative Organ who is expected to make a determination or

decision on the objection, except the cases that fall under any of the following

items, shall consult the Information Disclosure and Personal Information

Protection Review Board (When the head of the Administrative Organ who is

expected to make a determination or decision on the objection is the head of the

Board of Audit, a review board separately provided for by an Act.)

(i) When the objection is illegitimate and is to be dismissed.

(ii) When, by a determination or decision, the Disclosure Decision, etc.

(excluding the decisions to the effect of disclosing all the Administrative

Documents pertaining to a Disclosure Request; hereinafter the same shall

apply in this item and in Article 20.) pertaining to the objection is rescinded

or altered, and all the Administrative Documents pertaining to the objection

are to be disclosed; provided, however, that this shall exclude the cases in

which a Written Opposition Opinion regarding the Disclosure Decision, etc.

has been submitted.

(Notice of the Fact of Consultation)

Article 19 The head of an Administrative Organ who has made a consultation

pursuant to the provisions of the preceding Article shall notify the following

persons to the effect that the consultation was made.

(i) The objector and intervenor.

(ii) The Disclosure Requester (except when such person is the objector or an

intervenor.).

(iii) A Third Party who has submitted a Written Opposition Opinion regarding

the Disclosure Decision, etc. that is pertaining to the objection (excluding the

cases in which the Third Party is the objector or an intervenor.).

(Procedures in the Case that an Objection from a Third Party is Dismissed,

etc.)

Article 20 The provision of Article 13, paragraph 3, shall apply mutatis

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mutandis to the cases in which the determination or decision falls under any of

the following items.

(i) A determination or decision to dismiss without prejudice or dismiss with

prejudice on the merits an objection from a Third Party against a Disclosure

Decision.

(ii) A determination or decision altering the Disclosure Decision, etc.

pertaining to an objection to the effect of disclosing Administrative

Documents pertaining to that Disclosure Decision, etc. (limited to the case in

which an intervenor who is a Third Party has manifested an intention to

oppose the disclosure of the Administrative Documents.).

(Special Provisions for the Transfer of Lawsuits)

Article 21 (1) In the case a lawsuit demanding the rescission of a Disclosure

Decision, etc. or the rescission of a determination or decision regarding the

objection to a Disclosure Decision, etc. (referred to as an "Information

Disclosure Lawsuit" in the following paragraph and in paragraph 2 of the

Supplementary Provisions) is brought to the court of special jurisdiction

prescribed in the provision of Article 12, paragraph 4 of the Administrative

Case Litigation Act (Act No. 139 of 1962), if, notwithstanding the provision of

Article 12, paragraph 5 of the same Act, an appeal lawsuit ( which means an

appeal lawsuit prescribed in Article 3, paragraph 1 in the same Act; the same

shall apply in the following paragraph.) against a Disclosure Decision etc.

regarding the same, the same type of or similar Administrative Documents or

against a determination or decision regarding the objection against such a

Disclosure Decision etc., is pending in another court, the said court of special

jurisdiction may, when it finds it reasonable in consideration of the addresses

or locations of the parties, the addresses of witnesses who shall be examined,

characteristics common to the points at issue or the evidence, and other

circumstances, may in response to a petition or on its own authority transfer

the whole lawsuit or a part of it to the other court or a court prescribed Article

12, paragraphs 1 to 3 of the same Act.

(2) The preceding paragraph shall apply mutatis mutandis to the case when an

appeal lawsuit against a Disclosure Decision etc. or against a determination or

decision regarding an objection to a Disclosure Decision etc., other than an

Information Disclosure Lawsuit, is brought to the court of special jurisdiction

prescribed in the Article 12, paragraph 4 of the Administrative Case Litigation

Act.

Chapter IV Auxiliary Provisions

(Management of Administrative Documents)

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Article 22 (1) To contribute to the proper and smooth operation of this Act, the

heads of Administrative Organs shall properly manage Administrative

Documents.

(2) The heads of Administrative Organs shall establish rules regarding the

management of Administrative Documents by taking into consideration the

provisions of a Cabinet Order, and make the rules available for public

inspection.

(3) The Cabinet Order set forth in the preceding paragraph shall provide for

standards for the classification, preparation, preservation and disposal of

Administrative Documents, and other necessary matters concerning the

management of Administrative Documents.

(Provision of Information to a Person who Intends to Make a Disclosure

Request)

Article 23 (1) In order to allow a person who intends to make a Disclosure

Request easily and appropriately, the heads of Administrative Organs shall

provide information that contributes to specifying the Administrative

Documents held by the Administrative Organs and take other appropriate

measures that take into account the convenience of the person intending to

make the Disclosure Request.

(2) The Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications shall establish

comprehensive information centers concerning Disclosure Requests for

ensuring the smooth implementation of this Act.

(Public Announcement of the State of Enforcement)

Article 24 (1) The Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications may collect

reports on the state of enforcement of this Act from the heads of the

Administrative Organs.

(2) Each year the Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications shall compile

the reports set forth in the preceding paragraph, and publicly announce their

outline.

(Enhancement of Measures for the Provision of Information Held by

Administrative Organs)

Article 25 In order to comprehensively promote disclosure of the information it

holds, the Government shall endeavor to enhance measures concerned with the

provision of information held by Administrative Organs, so as to make clear to

the citizens through timely and appropriate methods the information that

Administrative Organs hold.

(Information Disclosure by Local Public Entities)

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Article 26 In accordance with the purpose of this Act, local public entities shal l

endeavor to formulate and implement measures necessary for the disclosure of

the information that they hold.

(Delegation to a Cabinet Order)

Article 27 In addition to what is provided for in this Act, necessary matters

concerning implementation of this Act shall be prescribed by a Cabinet Order.

Supplementary Provisions

(1) This Act shall come into force as from the date specified by a Cabinet Order

within a period not exceeding two years from the day of promulgation; however,

that the provisions of the part of Article 23, paragraph 1, concerning receiving

of the consent of both Houses, and provisions of Article 40 to Article 42

inclusive and the following paragraph, shall come into force as from the day of

promulgation.

(2) Approximately four years after this Act comes into force, the Government

shall examine the state of enforcement of this Act and the manner of

jurisdiction for Information Disclosure Lawsuits, and shall take necessary

measures based upon those results.

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