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Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

Map of Ministry of Health

  1. Address: Japan, 〒100-0013 Tokyo, Chiyoda 霞が関1丁目2−2 中央合同庁舎第5号館
    Phone:+81 3-5253-1111

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 of Health, Labour, and Welfare (MHLW) (Koseirodosho in Japanese) was established by a merger of the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MHW) and the Ministry of Labour, on January 6, 2001 as part of the government program for reorganizing government ministries. The MHLW, which was originally established in 1938, has been in charge of the improvement and promotion of social welfare, social security and public health, and the new organization has the same tasks.

It consists of the ministry proper, affiliated institutions, councils, local branches, and an external organization. The ministry proper includes the Minister’s Secretariat, 11 bureaus, and the Director-General for Policy Planning and Evaluation. Councils include the Social Insurance Council, Pharmaceutical Affairs and Food Sanitation Council (PAFSC), and other organizations. Affiliated institutions include national hospitals and the National Institute of Health Sciences. Local branches are regional bureaus of health and welfare and prefectural labor bureaus. The external organizations are the Social Insurance Agency and the Central Labor Relations Commission (Fig. 1. Organization of Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare).

The MHLW is in charge of pharmaceutical regulatory affairs in Japan (veterinary drugs are under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries), and the Pharmaceutical and Food Safety Bureau (PFSB) undertakes main duties and functions of the Ministry: it handles clinical studies, approval reviews and post-marketing safety measures, i.e., approvals and licensing.

The Health Policy Bureau handles promotion of R&D, production, distribution policies, and drug pricing, i.e., functions related to pharmaceutical companies. The Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Evaluation Center (Evaluation Center) in the National Institute of Health Sciences was established to strengthen approval reviews on July 1, 1997.

To confirm the reliability of reviews and application data, the Organization for Pharmaceutical Safety and Research (OPSR) conducted compliance reviews on application data. The OPSR also began offering consultation services on protocols at the clinical trial stage.

This was followed by the integration of the aforementioned Evaluation Center, OPSR, and part of the Medical Devices Center on April 1, 2004 to form a new independent administrative organization, the Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA, KIKO). The role of the PMDA is to provide consultations concerning the clinical trials of new drugs and medical devices, and to conduct approval reviews and surveys of the reliability of application data.

Following this reorganization, the MHLW and PMDA handle a wide range of activities from clinical studies to approval reviews, reviews throughout post-marketing stage, and pharmaceutical safety measures (Fig. 2. Organization of Pharmaceutical and Food Safety Bureau (PFSB) and Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA). ,………….

Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices

Policy Information

■ Outline of the Law for Partial Revision of the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law (Act No.84 of 2013) (PDF:1,072KB)
■ Strategy of SAKIGAKE
■ Registration opens for EMA/FDA/MHLW-PMDA Orphan Product Designation Workshop
■ General Overview (PDF)
(Source: MHLW’s Pamphlet)
■ Overview of Orphan Drug/Medical Device Designation System
■ References
Health and Medical Services
Living Environment
(Source: Annual Health, Labour, and Welfare Report 2011-2012)
■ Information for those who are bringing medicines for personal use into Japan
■ International Cooperation on Cosmetics Regulation (ICCR) ICCR-7 Stakeholder Session on July 9, 2013 (PDF:65KB)
■ Revision of the Ministerial Ordinance on Standards for Manufacturing Control and Quality Control for Medical Devices and In-Vitro Diagnostics


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.


Japan Medical Device Regulations

All documents listed below were published by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) or the Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) and are in PDF format.

Major Regulations

Document Number Published Language
Japan MHLW Ord. 136 – QA Procedures for Devices 136 9/2004 EN
Japan MHLW Ord. 169 – QMS Compliance 169 12/2004 EN

General Guidance Documents

Document Number Published Language
Japan Guidance for Medical Device Applications 1 of 2 0216001 2/2005 EN
Japan Guidance for Medical Device Applications 2 of 2 0216002 2/2005 EN
Japan Handling Medical Device Foreign Clinical Data 479 3/1997 EN
Japan MHLW Ord. 36 – Good Clinical Practice for Medical Devices 36 3/2005 EN
Japan MHLW Ord. 37 – Good Lab Practice Medical Devices 37 3/2005 EN
Japan Medical Device Complaint Handling Process Chart JP-001-PPT 8/2011 EN
Japan QMS Inspection Process for Medical Devices and IVD JP-002-PPT 12/2010 EN
Japan STED Submission Preparation Handbook 0216003 2/2016 EN

Specific Guidance Documents

Document Number Published Language
Japan Medical Device Biological Safety Evaluation 0213001 2/2003 EN

Forms and Applications

Document Number Published Language
Japan Foreign Manufacturer Accreditation Instructions JP-008 Undated EN

Additional Information

Document Number Published Language
Japan Foreign Manufacturer Accreditation Categories JP-007 Undated EN
Japan PMDA Public Release of New Device Applications 0206007 2/2009 EN




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DR ANTHONY MELVIN CRASTO, Born in Mumbai in 1964 and graduated from Mumbai University, Completed his Ph.D from ICT, 1991,Matunga, Mumbai, India, in Organic Chemistry, The thesis topic was Synthesis of Novel Pyrethroid Analogues, Currently he is working with AFRICURE PHARMA, ROW2TECH, NIPER-G, Department of Pharmaceuticals, Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers, Govt. of India as ADVISOR, earlier assignment was with GLENMARK LIFE SCIENCES LTD, as CONSUlTANT, Retired from GLENMARK in Jan2022 Research Centre as Principal Scientist, Process Research (bulk actives) at Mahape, Navi Mumbai, India. Total Industry exp 32 plus yrs, Prior to joining Glenmark, he has worked with major multinationals like Hoechst Marion Roussel, now Sanofi, Searle India Ltd, now RPG lifesciences, etc. He has worked with notable scientists like Dr K Nagarajan, Dr Ralph Stapel, Prof S Seshadri, etc, He did custom synthesis for major multinationals in his career like BASF, Novartis, Sanofi, etc., He has worked in Discovery, Natural products, Bulk drugs, Generics, Intermediates, Fine chemicals, Neutraceuticals, GMP, Scaleups, etc, he is now helping millions, has 9 million plus hits on Google on all Organic chemistry websites. His friends call him Open superstar worlddrugtracker. His New Drug Approvals, Green Chemistry International, All about drugs, Eurekamoments, Organic spectroscopy international, etc in organic chemistry are some most read blogs He has hands on experience in initiation and developing novel routes for drug molecules and implementation them on commercial scale over a 32 PLUS year tenure till date Feb 2023, Around 35 plus products in his career. He has good knowledge of IPM, GMP, Regulatory aspects, he has several International patents published worldwide . He has good proficiency in Technology transfer, Spectroscopy, Stereochemistry, Synthesis, Polymorphism etc., He suffered a paralytic stroke/ Acute Transverse mylitis in Dec 2007 and is 90 %Paralysed, He is bound to a wheelchair, this seems to have injected feul in him to help chemists all around the world, he is more active than before and is pushing boundaries, He has 100 million plus hits on Google, 2.5 lakh plus connections on all networking sites, 100 Lakh plus views on dozen plus blogs, 227 countries, 7 continents, He makes himself available to all, contact him on +91 9323115463, email, Twitter, @amcrasto , He lives and will die for his family, 90% paralysis cannot kill his soul., Notably he has 38 lakh plus views on New Drug Approvals Blog in 227 countries...... , He appreciates the help he gets from one and all, Friends, Family, Glenmark, Readers, Wellwishers, Doctors, Drug authorities, His Contacts, Physiotherapist, etc He has total of 32 International and Indian awards

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