Vital statistics system of Japan

The strength of the Japanese vital statistics system is derived from its relationship to the KOSEKI or family registration system The declarations of births, deaths and marriages serve to update the family composition in conformance with the family registration law Because the value of the KOSEKI system is universally recognized in Japan, and used widely for the authentication of the relationship between the various members of the registered family, the registration of vital events is virtually complete

Although the family register was established for social and legal purposes, it has been found to be an invaluable source of information for scientific studies In particular, the family register provides a unique opportunity for positive identification of deaths occurring in cohorts selected for epidemiologic studies.

The article covers the following aspects: development of vital statistics in Japan; the family registration system (KOSEKI); method of collecting data on vital events; evaluation; processing and dissemination of vital statistics.

The article is technical report No. 2 of the International Institute for Vital Registration and Statistics, published in 1979.