On Friday 29 April 2022, the UK Statistics Authority hosted a Japanese delegation led by Mr Yasushi Kaneko, Japanese Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC).

The MIC is a Ministerial body which has remit over official statistical matters in Japan and whose executive agency, the Japanese Statistics Bureau, represents the statistical system internationally and has remit over the production of fundamental official statistics. You can find out more about the Japanese Statistics System by reading their 2020 Report ‘Statistics for Japan’s Future’.

The UK delegation was led by the National Statistician, Professor Sir Ian Diamond, and consisted of other relevant UKSA and ONS senior leadership:

  • Mike Keoghan, Deputy National Statistician and Director General for the Economic, Social and Environment Group, ONS
  • Emma Rourke, Director of Health Analysis & Pandemic Insights, ONS
  • Arthur Turrell, Interim Director, Data Science Campus, ONS
  • Rob Bumpstead, Chief of Staff, UKSA
  • Kirsten Newton, Deputy Head of International, UKSA

The delegations came together to kickstart an ambitious workplan for future collaboration between each nation’s statistical functions. This will primarily focus on the development, training and resourcing of government data scientists and utilisation of alternative data to augment and improve official statistics.

Minister Kaneko’s visit to the UKSA also precedes another by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who visited the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to discuss defence and trade. Like the rest of UK government, the UKSA recognises the importance of fostering a close relationship with one of our key partners in the East Asian region.

Each organisation’s respective International Relations Teams will now engage to develop a framework for close collaboration around the themes outlined. Future developments in this space will be announced via the UK Statistics Authority website. This press statement is accompanied by a publication made by the Japanese Statistics Bureau.