Making information from the Diet available to the public: The history and development as well as current issues in enhancing access to parliamentary documentation

OKUYAMA, Hiroyuki (2015) Making information from the Diet available to the public: The history and development as well as current issues in enhancing access to parliamentary documentation. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2015 - Cape Town, South Africa in Session 220 - Library and Research Services for Parliaments.

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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

Making information from the Diet available to the public: The history and development as well as current issues in enhancing access to parliamentary documentation

The National Diet Library (NDL) was established in 1948 by the National Diet Library Law, which defined the NDL’s primary objective as providing assistance to members of the National Diet (Parliament) of Japan by performing research necessary to legislative activities and parliamentary oversight of government. The House of Representative and the House of Councillors draw up a wide variety of parliamentary documentation, including minutes of Diet deliberations and other important sources of information concerning legislation. The NDL preserves these documents and, in cooperation with both Houses, strives continuously to enhance public access to these documents, which are an important source of information on the Diet’s activities under Japan’s representative system of democracy. Since 2001, the minutes of the Diet have been available via the Internet. The Full-text Database System for the Minutes of the Diet provides the whole text of Diet proceedings, starting with the very 1st Session from May, 1947. And documents are also available as graphical images. The database contains more than 3 million pages of proceedings. Users can conduct cross-session searches using a variety of search criteria, including speaker’s names or keywords from the proceedings. In 2014, we made some improvements to the system that boosted retrieval capacity and improved access for people with disabilities. As we look toward the future, we are considering ways to enhance access not just to minutes of Diet proceedings but to other documents issued by the Diet.

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