Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare
Agency overview

The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (厚生労働省 Kōsei-rōdō-shō?) is a cabinet level ministry of the Japanese government. It is commonly known as Kōrō-shō (厚労省) in Japan. This ministry provides regulations on maximum residue limits for agricultural chemicals in foods, basic food and drug regulations, standards for foods, food additives, etc.

It was formed with the merger of the former Ministry of Health and Welfare or Kōsei-shō (厚生省) and the Ministry of Labour or Rōdō-shō (労働省).

The Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare is a member of the Cabinet. The current minister is Yoko Komiyama.


The ministry is quite large, with a complex organization. It contains:

  • The Minister’s Secretariat (including the Statistics and Information Department)
  • The Health Policy Bureau
  • The Health Service Bureau
  • Pharmaceutical and Food Safety Bureau (including the Food Safety Department)
  • The Labor Standards Bureau (including the Industrial Safety and Health Department, Workers Compensation Department, and Workers’ Life Department)
  • The Employment Security Bureau (including the Employment Measures for the Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Department)
  • The Human Resources Development Bureau
  • The Equal Employment, Children and Families Bureau
  • The Social Welfare and War Victims’ Relief Burea (including the Department of Health and Welfare for People with Disabilities)
  • The Health and Welfare Bureau for the Elderly
  • The Health Insurance Bureau
  • The Pension Bureau
  • The Director-General for Policy Planning and Evaluation
  • Affiliated research institutions (6 research institutes, 218 national hospitals, 13 quarantine stations, and 3 Social Welfare Facilities)
  • Councils (Social Security Council, Health Sciences Council, Labour Policy Council, Medical Ethics Council, Pharmaceutical Affairs and Food Sanitation Council, Evaluation Committee for Independent Administrative institutions, Central Minimum Wages Council, Labour Insurance Appeal Committee, Central Social Insurance Medical Council, Examination Committee of Social Insurance, Examination Committee for Certification of Sickness and Disability, Examination Committee for Relief Assistances)
  • Regional Bureaus (8 Regional Bureaus of Health and Welfare and 47 Prefectural Labour Bureaus)
  • External Bureaus (Japan Pension Service, Central Labor Relations Commission)[1]
  1. Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare website Organization of the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare Retrieved on November 23rd 2010
  2. The Japan Times Bus crash in Gunma leaves seven dead, 39 injured April 30 2012 Retrieved on July 27 2012
  3. The Yomiuri Shimbun 80% of tour bus firms found to violate laws July 20 2012 Retrieved on July 27 2012
  4. Otake, Tomoko, “Ministry insider speaks out“, Japan Times, November 1, 2009, p. 10.

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