Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare


Outline of Vital Statistics in Japan

1 Objective

This survey is to collect vital events in Japan and obtain a basic data source for population and policy making on health, labour and welfare.

2 History

Vital Statistics Survey is based on Family Registry. The history of vital statistics was begun in 646 AD when live births and deaths are registered and summed up. After modern family registration system was instituted in 1872, taking the opportunity of enactment of Family Registration Law in 1898, modern vital statistics survey was established in 1899. Since then a sheet of individual form for each event has been used for one case and the data of each case has been summed up at the central government.

3 Subjects and Objects

Subjects of the survey are the total events of live births, deaths, marriages, divorces, and foetal deaths notified in accordance with “Family Registration Law” and “Provisions Regarding Notification of Stillbirths”, but objects of this survey are events that occurred in Japan within the survey year concerning persons who possess Japanese nationality.

4 Survey Period

From 1st January to 31st December of the survey year

5 Survey Items

Vital Statistics Survey Form consists of 5 types of forms, Live Birth Form, Death Form, Foetal Death Form, Marriage Form, and Divorce Form. Summary of each form is as follows.

(1) Live Birth Form: Items based on Notification of Live Birth, for instance Date of birth, Place of birth, Birth weight, Name and surname of parents, Age of parents, etc.(PDF:163KB)  

(2) Death Form: Items based on Notification of Death, for instance Date of birth of the deceased, Residence, Date of death, etc.(PDF:232KB)  

(3) Foetal Death Form: Items based on Notification of Foetal Death, for instance Date of delivery, Address of institution, Age of parents, etc.(PDF:213KB)  

(4) Marriage Form: Items based on Notification of Marriage, for instance Date of birth of bride and groom, Residence address of groom, first marriage/remarriage, etc.(PDF:151KB)  

(5) Divorce Form: Items based on Notification of Divorce, for instance, Date of birth of wife and husband, Resident address before separation, Type of divorce, etc.(PDF:147KB)  

6 Survey Method

Municipal heads fill in Vital Statistics Survey Forms based on notifications of live births, deaths, marriages, divorces, and foetal deaths.

7 Route of Report

chart

8 Tabulation of Result

Statistics and Information Department, Minister's Secretariat, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare tabulated the results.

┬źNotes┬╗

1 The following reports on vital statistics are printed and released.

Prompt Vital Statistics Report

Data: Number of survey sheets submitted

Tabulation Objects:

Japanese and aliens living in Japan, and Japanese living abroad (both including events occurred earlier than the previous year)

Release: Monthly

(Two months after the survey month)

Monthly Vital Statistics Report

Data: Preliminary

Tabulation Objects:

Japanese living in Japan
(excluding events occurred earlier than previous years)

Release: Monthly

(Five months after the survey month)
: Annually (Annual total)
(June of the year after the survey year)

Annual Vital Statistics Report

Data: Final

(Corrected preliminary data)

Tabulation Objects:

Japanese living in Japan (Aliens living in Japan, Japanese living abroad, and events occurred earlier than the survey year are released separately)

Release: Annually

(Around September of the year after the survey year)

Reports (Published around February or March two years after the survey year)
Volume 1: (Outline and analysis of Vital Statistics)
Volume 2: (Statistics tables of live births, deaths, foetal deaths, marriages, and divorces)
Volume 3: (Statistics tables of causes of deaths)

3 Definitions

Natural increase Live Births minus Deaths
Infant death Death under 1 year of age after birth
Neonatal death Death under 4 weeks of age after birth
Early neonatal death Death under 1 week of age after birth
Duration of gestation Duration of gestation used for Live birth, Foetal death, and Perinatal death is expressed in completed weeks.
  Pre-term Less than 37 completed weeks (less than 259 days) of gestation
  Term From 37 completed weeks to less than 42 completed weeks (259 to 293 days) of gestation
  Post-term 42 completed weeks or more (294 days or more) of gestation
Foetal death Delivery of dead infant at 12 completed weeks or more of gestation. Dead infant is the fetus which has none of evidence of life after delivery, beating of the heart, definite movement of voluntary muscles, and breathing.
  Spontaneous and artificial foetal death

Artificial foetal death is foetal deaths due to artificial treatment (the treatment for fetus or appendage of the fetus and the use of inducing medicine) when fetus is surely alive inside of mother. All other cases belong to Spontaneous foetal deaths.

However, even as a result of artificial treatment, following cases belong to Spontaneous foetal death.

(1) Aim of the treatment is live birth.

(2) Fetus inside mother is dead or it is not clear whether fetus is dead or alive.

Perinatal death Foetal deaths at 22 completed weeks (154 days) or more of gestation plus Early neonatal deaths
Maternal death

Death of pregnant women during pregnancy or earlier than 42 days after pregnancy related to or aggravated by all causes of pregnancy or its management, regardless to time of gestation or site of pregnancy. However, this excludes accidental or incidental causes.

Maternal death involves categories of Direct obstetric death (O00 - O92) and Indirect obstetric death (O98 - O99) plus Obstetric death of unspecified cause (O95), Obstetrical tetanus (A34), and Human immunodeficiency virus [HIV] disease (B20 - B24).

Direct obstetric death Death caused by obstetric complication during pregnancy
Indirect obstetric death Death caused by diseases existing prior to pregnancy or during pregnancy. These diseases are not direct obstetric causes but aggravated by physiological reaction to pregnancy.
Late maternal death Death of women occurring more than 42 days but less than one year after delivery due to direct or indirect obstetric causes. It involves any obstetric cause (O96), Obstetrical tetanus (A34), and Human immunodeficiency virus [HIV] disease (B20 - B24), which are newly defined in the ICD-10.
Type of Medical Care Institutions
  Hospital A place where medical doctors or dentists provide health care and dental care for public or special majority, with inpatient facilities for 20 or more patients
  Medical clinic A place where medical doctors or dentists provide health care and dental care for public or special majority, with no inpatient facilities or with inpatient facilities for 19 or less patients
  Healthcare facility for the elderly requiring long-term care A place approved by prefectural governors in accordance with Long-Term Care Insurance Act where the elderly requiring long-term care are provided with nursing care, functional training, and other required medical and daily living support under nursing and medical management.
  Midwifery home A place where midwives practice for public or special majority (excluding hospitals and medical clinics).
  Home for the elderly Elderly nursing home, Special elderly nursing home, Moderate fee home for the elderly, and Pay nursing home
Main occupations of household
  Farm household A household of farming or farming with other occupations
  Self-employed household A household of freelance business, industrial and commercial business, service business, etc. run by individuals
  Permanent worker household (I) A household of permanent employee of business enterprise or private retailer (excluding public office) where the number of employees are one to 99 (households of workers under daily contract or contract for less than a year belongs to other household.)
  Permanent worker household (II) Permanent worker household that does not apply to Permanent worker household (I) and household of corporation executives (households of workers under daily contract or contract for less than a year belongs to other household.)
  Other household Household of other occupation that does not apply to any of the above
  Unemployed household Household without person with occupation
Type of divorce
  Divorce by mutual consent This divorce is approved by notification under Family Registration Low. It is approved only when both the husband and wife mutually agree to divorce. Without this agreement, divorce is not approved.
  Judicial divorce This divorce is approved by involvement of court. There are five types in judicial divorce, that are arbitrated divorce, umpire divorce, divorce by settlement, divorce by admission, and divorce by decree. Divorce comes into effect when arbitration, settlement, or requisition is accepted, or judgment or verdict is reached.
    Arbitrated divorce Arbitration is initiated upon petition by a party or procedure involved in arbitration by the Family Court. When divorce is agreed by arbitration and is written in a protocol, it is regarded as concluded and the protocol has the same effect as a conclusive judgment.
Judgment divorce When arbitration is not concluded, the Family Court can umpire as an alternative to arbitration. If either party files a demurrer within two weeks, the umpire loses its effect. If a demurrer is not filed, the umpire has the same effect as a conclusive judgment
Reconciliation divorce A settlement can be made during a divorce suit. When the settlement is made and written in a protocol, the protocol has the same effect as a conclusive judgment.
Recognized divorce A claim can be acknowledged during a divorce suit. When the claim is acknowledged and is written in a protocol, the protocol has the same effect as the conclusive judgment.
Decree divorce When a settlement cannot be made and by umpire it cannot be done but there is a cause of divorce designated by law, verdict of divorce is given upon a filing by a party.

Return To Top