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[no.23] Organization Change of NMIJ

The Japanese national metrology institutes were reorganized during the central government reform in early April 2001. The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) was renamed the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). The Agency of Industrial Science and Technology (old AIST) was restructured. The policy making divisions in the old AIST were transferred to a bureau of METI, and the research laboratories were separated from METI to form a single institute named the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (new AIST). Standards activities of NRLM, ETL and NIMC in the old AIST merged into a new AIST unit named the National Metrology Institute of Japan (NMIJ). NMIJ now covers the whole of physical and chemical metrologies, while the Communication Research Laboratory (CRL) continues to share the time and frequency standards with NMIJ.

NMIJ consists of four organizations. The Metrology Institute of Japan (MIJ) is the core of NMIJ and is responsible for research and calibration, including legal metrology. The Metrology Management Division, Metrology Training Center, and International Metrology Cooperation Office share the administrative activities for NMIJ. The director of MIJ, Dr. Akira Ono, represents NMIJ.

Status Change of NMIJ

A new organization scheme, the Independent Administrative Agency (IAA), was introduced in the Japanese central government reform based on laws to implement the governmental policies. The IAA's operate independently of the government to enhance flexibility, effectiveness, and transparency. The new AIST is an IAA dedicated to R & D of industrial science and technology, geological survey, and metrology that depends mostly on the government for finances.

Statistics of NMIJ

NMIJ accounts for around 10% of the personnel and budget of the new AIST. There are about 270 permanent personnel (including 250 scientists) and about 100 temporary personnel. The annual budget of NMIJ is at almost the same level as that of the old AIST. Excluding permanent personnel salaries, electricity and water expenses, and building maintenance, 13 million US $ is spent for basic research and calibration, and 9 million US $ for research contracts with METI and other ministries. The annual income of NMIJ consists of 0.7 million US $ from calibration and testing and 0.4 million US $ from training of metrologists.

Mid-term Plan

NMIJ covers six areas in the mid-term plan from 2001 to 2005: developing national measurement standards, implementing legal metrology, research for next generation standards, collaboration for international measurement systems, training of domestic and overseas metrologists, and developing measurement technologies commonly applicable to broad areas.

The number of national measurement standards disseminated is planned to increase from 140 in 2001 to 300 in 2005. Priorities in national measurement standards to be disseminated are identified electrical standards, basic standards for MRA, advanced standards for high-tech industries, and reference materials for the environment, health and safety. Next generation standards will be developed in such fields as optical frequency measurements using a femto-second laser, cesium-atomic fountain clocks, eutectic points for high-temperature standards, absolute measurements of viscosity, Josephson ac voltage standards, thin film standards for semiconductors, and remote calibrations using information technology.

June 2001

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