• Kyodo News


A law on management and preservation of official state documents was enacted Wednesday to prevent authorities from discarding important papers.

The law, passed unanimously at a House of Councilors plenary session, states that official documents are an “intellectual resource shared by citizens,” and allows the public freer access to them while requiring the prime minister’s approval for discarding them.

It also requires ministries and agencies to compile documents that will enable decision-making processes to be followed up afterward.

Management of official documents became a key issue after the Social Insurance Agency was found to have lost numerous national pension records, forcing people to re-examine their past payments.

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