February 2018: Japan Regulatory Updates

With the enactment of the Law Concerning Access to Information Held by Administrative Organizations on April 1, 2001, anyone has the right to request disclosure of documents retained by national government organizations. This law covers disclosure of documents retained by government organizations except those concerning non-disclosable information such as information on individuals, information on corporations, etc. This was partially amended by Cabinet Order No. 371, on December 21, 2005.

Based on this Law, the MHLW must disclose the contents of its reviews (records of meetings of the PAFSC, new drug approval information dossiers, etc.), as a rule, and new procedures for processing work related to public disclosure of information retained by the PFSB were specified (Notification No. 0330022 of the PFSB dated March 30, 2007).

These procedures clarify the actual decisions on whether or not disclosure is granted for documents retained by the PFSB (not including those retained by the Department of Food Safety). These documents are classified into six types: (1) evaluation and licensing-related documents, (2) safety-related documents, (3) compliance-related documents, (4) narcotics-related documents, (5) blood and blood products-related documents, and (6) other activity-related documents.

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