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Title: Overview of Archives and Archival Issues in Japan
Authors: Koga, Takashi
Author's alias: 古賀, 崇
Issue Date: Jul-2007
Abstract: Despite the tradition of maintaining official and private archives since around the eight century, the development of modern archives in Japan was hampered until recently. The following posed huge obstacles to the development: (1) poor records management between central and local governments and (2) lack of understanding of archives among the public. The National Archives of Japan (NAJ) was finally established in 1971; national-level legislations concerning the archives were not set until 1987. Now, in the 2000s, there is a strong movement toward the development of archives in Japan. The following are the primary forces behind the movement: (1) development of "digital archives" owing to the popularization of the Internet, especially the Japan Center for Asian Historical Records (JACAR) that was established as a branch of the NAJ in 2001, and (2) political support for archival institutions and archival issues, as shown in the discussion of the advisory panel under the Cabinet Office of Japan since 2003. In addition, the Japan Society for Archival Science (JSAS) was established in 2004 as the first academic society concerning archival science in Japan. The JSAS promotes the establishment of academic foundations of archival science through the acceptance of theories in the Western world, such as the theory of "records continuum." While Japan is experiencing such developments, there are numerous challenges for the future developments of archives in the country, such as raising the number of archival institutions, establishment of legislations concerning archives and records management, and promotion of understanding of archives among the public. Among these challenges, the largest one will be to determine the manner in which an accreditation system for professional archivists can be established and stable employment for prospective archivists can be secured.
Description: Archives and Records Association of New Zealand (ARANZ) 2007 Conference, Auckland, New Zealand, Jul. 12-14, 2007.
Rights: Copyright: Takashi Koga.
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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