Japan Meteorological Agency
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Japan Meteorological Agency
Japan Meteorological Agency
Kish?-ch? ()
Japan Meteorological Agency logo2.jpg
JMA logo
Japan Meteorological Agency 2012.JPG
JMA headquarters building in Tokyo
Agency overview
FormedJuly 1, 1956; 63 years ago (1956-07-01)
Preceding agencies
  • Tokyo Meteorological Observatory
  • Central Meteorological Observatory
JurisdictionGovernment of Japan
Headquarters1-3-4 ?temachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan
35°41?22.5?N 139°45?42.1?E / 35.689583°N 139.761694°E / 35.689583; 139.761694Coordinates: 35°41?22.5?N 139°45?42.1?E / 35.689583°N 139.761694°E / 35.689583; 139.761694
Employees5,539 (2010)[1]
Annual budget¥62.0 billion (2010-11)[2]
¥59.0 billion (2011-12)[3]
¥58.9 billion (est. 2012)[3]
Agency executives
  • Toshihiko Hashida, Director-General
  • Itaru Kaga, Deputy Director-General
Parent agencyMinistry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism

The Japan Meteorological Agency (, Kish?-ch?), JMA, is an agency of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.[4] It is charged with gathering and providing results for the public in Japan that are obtained from data based on daily scientific observation and research into natural phenomena in the fields of meteorology, hydrology, seismology and volcanology, among other related scientific fields. Its headquarters is located in Chiyoda, Tokyo.

JMA is responsible for gathering and reporting weather data and forecasts for the general public, as well as providing aviation and marine weather. JMA other responsibilities include issuing warnings for volcanic eruptions, and the nationwide issuance of earthquake warnings of the Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) system. JMA is also designated one of the Regional Specialized Meteorological Centers of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). It is responsible for forecasting, naming, and distributing warnings for tropical cyclones in the Northwestern Pacific region, including the Celebes Sea, the Sulu Sea, the South China Sea, the East China Sea, the Yellow Sea, the Sea of Japan and the Sea of Okhotsk.


  • August 26, 1872 - The first weather station in Japan set up in Hakodate, Hokkaido. It is the precursor of the present Hakodate Weather Station (?, Hakodate Kaiy? Kish?-dai).[1]
  • June 1875 - The original Tokyo Meteorological Observatory (, T?ky? Kish?-dai) was formed within the Survey Division of Geography Bureau of Home Ministry (, Naimu-sh? Chiri-ry? Ry?chi-ka).[1][5]
  • January 1, 1887 - The Tokyo Meteorological Observatory was renamed as the Central Meteorological Observatory (, Ch Kish?-dai), with the transfer of its jurisdiction to the Home Ministry.
  • April 1895 - The Ministry of Education (, Monbush?) replaced the preceding ministry as an administrator of the Observatory.
  • January 1, 1923 - The main office moved to Motoe-machi, K?jimachi-ku (later Takehira-ch? 1), where it is near a moat surrounding the Imperial Palace.[6]
  • November 1943 - The Ministry of Transport and Communications (, Un'yu T?shin-sh?) took over the CMO's operation.
  • May 1945 - It became part of the Ministry of Transport (, Un'yu-sh?).
  • July 1, 1956 - The Central Meteorological Observatory became an agency of the Ministry of Transport, and has been renamed to the Japan Meteorological Agency (, Kish?-ch?).
  • March 1964 - The headquarters office was relocated to the present building in ?temachi, Chiyoda-ku.
  • January 6, 2001 - The JMA becomes an agency of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (, Kokudo-k?ts?-sh?) with the Japanese government reformation.
  • 2013 - It has been announced that it would be scheduled to move the headquarters into Toranomon, Minato-ku.[6]



The JMA is responsible not only for gathering and reporting weather data and forecasts in Japan, but also for observation and warning of earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons and volcanic eruptions.[7]

The agency has six regional administrative offices (including five DMOs and Okinawa Meteorological Observatory), four Marine Observatories, five auxiliary facilities, four Aviation Weather Service Centers and 47 local offices composed of the LMOs. These are also used to gather data, supplemented by weather satellites such as Himawari, and other research institutes.[7]

In 1968, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) designated the JMA as a Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre (RSMC) for Asia.[8] In June 1988, the WMO also assigned the JMA as a RSMC for the Northwestern Pacific under its Tropical Cyclone programme.[8] In July 1989, the RSMC Tokyo - Typhoon Center was established within the headquarters office, which dealt with the forecasting and dissemination of active tropical cyclones, as well as preparing a summary of each year's cyclone activity.[9]

Observation and forecast


Land weather

Each DMO and LMO issues weather forecasts and warnings or advisories to the general public live in its own area. Weather data used to these forecasts are acquired from the Surface Observation (represented by the AMeDAS), the Radar Observation, the Upper-air Observation and the Satellite Observation mainly using the Himawari series.

Marine weather

The Marine Observatories are seated in Hakodate, Maizuru, Kobe and Nagasaki. These stations observe ocean waves, tide levels, sea surface temperature and ocean current etc. in the Northwestern Pacific basin, as well as the Sea of Japan and the Sea of Okhotsk basin, and provide marine meteorological forecasts resulted from them, in cooperation with the Hydrographic and Oceanographic Department, Japan Coast Guard.

Aviation weather

In 2005, in accordance with the ICAO's new CNS/ATM system, the Civil Aviation Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism set up the Air Traffic Management Center (ATMC) in Fukuoka, where the FIR is fixed. Along with this establishment, JMA placed the Air Traffic Meteorology Center (ATMetC) inside the ATMC.

The agency forecasts SIGMET for aircraft in flight within the Fukuoka FIR airspace, while VOLMET is broadcast by each Aviation Weather Service Centers at the airports of Haneda, Narita, Centrair and Kansai. Additionally, Aviation Weather Stations (beside the airports of New Chitose, Sendai, Osaka, Fukuoka, Kagoshima and Naha) deal with the similar tasks as these.

Tropical cyclones

In the Northwestern Pacific area, the typhoon season ordinarily comes almost from May to November. The JMA forecasts and warns or advises on tropical cyclones to the public in Japan and its surrounding countries as well because it also works as the RSMC Tokyo - Typhoon Center.[10]


The JMA has its own 624 observation stations across the country[11] that set up at intervals of 20 km approximately[12] in order to measure seismic intensity of earthquakes precisely. The agency also utilize about 2,900 more seismographs[11] owned by the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (NIED) and local governments. A 24-hour office has been housed within the JMA headquarters in Tokyo, for monitoring and tracking seismic events in the vicinity of Japan to collect and process their data, which issues observed earthquake's information on its hypocenter, magnitude, seismic intensity and possibility of tsunami occurrence after quakes quickly to the public through the Earthquake Phenomena Observation System (EPOS).[13] The Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) system began to work fully for the general public on October 1, 2007.

The agency is one of the representatives of the national Coordinating Committee for Earthquake Prediction.[14]


It is essential to provide coastal regions for tsunami information so that its catastrophic damages can be reduced and mitigated there. In case of there is a possibility of tsunami after an earthquake, JMA issues Tsunami Warning or Advisory for each region in Japan with information of estimated tsunami heights and arrival times within 2 to 3 minutes of the quake.


The agency set up four Volcanic Observations and Information Centers within DMOs in Sapporo, Sendai, Tokyo and Fukuoka. They are monitoring volcanic events on 110 active volcanos in Japan and 47 of these volcanos selected by the Coordinating Committee for Prediction of Volcanic Eruption are under the 24-hour observation with seismographs, accelerometers, GPS, air-shock recorders, fixed point observation cameras and other equipment. If it is predicted that a volcanic eruption will affect inhabited areas or are around a crater, Volcanic Warnings are issued and supplemented by Volcanic Alert Levels.



  • JMA Headquarters (, Kish?-ch? Honch?)
  • Director-General (, Ch?kan)
  • Deputy Director-General (, Jich?)
    • Administration Department (, S?mu-bu)
      • Counselors (, Sanjikan)
    • Forecast Department (, Yoh?-bu)
    • Observations Department (, Kansoku-bu)
    • Seismology and Volcanology Department (, Jishin-kazan-bu)
    • Global Environment and Marine Department (, Chiky?-kanky?/Kaiy?-bu)

Local offices

Auxiliary organs

Director-Generals and Chief Executives

Chief Executives of Central Meteorological Observatory

  1. Arai Ikunosuke ( ): 1890-1891
  2. Kobayashi Kazutomo ( ): 1891-1895
  3. Nakamura Kiyoo ( ): 1895-1923
  4. Okada Takematsu ( ): 1923-1941
  5. Fujiwhara Sakuhei ( ): 1941-1947
  6. Wadachi Kiyoo ( ): 1947-1956

Director-Generals of JMA

  1. Wadachi Kiyoo ( ): 1956-1963
  2. Hatakeyama Hisanao ( ): 1963-1965
  3. Shibata Yoshiji ( ): 1965-1969
  4. Yoshitake Motoji ( ): 1969-1971
  5. Takahashi Ko?chir? ( ): 1971-1974
  6. Mouri Keitar? ( ): 1974-1976
  7. Arizumi Naosuke ( ): 1976-1978
  8. Kubota Masaya ( ): 1978-1980
  9. Masuzawa J?tar? ( ): 1980-1983
  10. Suehiro Shigeji ( ): 1983-1985
  11. Uchida Eiji ( ): 1985-1987
  12. Kikuchi Yukio ( ): 1987-1990
  13. Tatehira Ry?z? ( ): 1990-1992
  14. Nitta Takashi ( ?): 1992-1993
  15. Ninomiya K?z? ( ): 1993-1996
  16. Ono Toshiyuki ( ): 1996-1998
  17. Takigawa Y?s? ( ): 1998-2000
  18. Yamamoto K?ji ( ): 2000-2003
  19. Kitade Takeo ( ): 2003-2004
  20. Nagasaka K?ichi ( ): 2004-2006
  21. Hiraki Satoshi ( ?): 2006-2009
  22. Sakurai Kunio ( ): 2009-2011
  23. Hatori Mitsuhiko ( ): 2011-2014
  24. Nishide Noritake ( ): 2014-2016
  25. Hashida Toshihiko ( ): 2016-2019
  26. Sekita Yasuo ( ): 2019-present

See also


  1. ^ a b c ? (PDF) (in Japanese). Japan Meteorological Agency. January 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-03-31. Retrieved .
  2. ^ 23 (PDF) (in Japanese). Japan Meteorological Agency. 2010-12-24. Retrieved .
  3. ^ a b 24 (PDF) (in Japanese). Japan Meteorological Agency. 2011-12-24. Retrieved .
  4. ^ " (e-Gov)" (in Japanese). . Retrieved 2012.
  5. ^ Kan'ichi Koinuma (March 1969). (PDF) (in Japanese). Meteorological Society of Japan. Retrieved .
  6. ^ a b (PDF) (in Japanese). Japan Meteorological Agency. September 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-05-14. Retrieved .
  7. ^ a b "Japan Meteorological Agency: The national meteorological service of Japan" (PDF). Japan Meteorological Agency. Retrieved .
  8. ^ a b "Cooperation through WMO and Other Multilateral Activities". Japan Meteorological Agency. Retrieved .
  9. ^ Japan Meteorological Organization (February 2001). "Annual Report on Activities of the RSMC Tokyo - Typhoon Center 2000" (PDF). Retrieved .
  10. ^ RSMC Tokyo - Typhoon Center
  11. ^ a b "Table of Observation Stations" (PDF). The Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion (of Japan). September 2011. Retrieved .
  12. ^ Jochen Zschau; Andreas N. Küppers, eds. (2002). Early Warning Systems for Natural Disaster Reduction. Springer. p. 449. ISBN 978-3-540-67962-2.
  13. ^ Corkill, Edan (2011-04-10). "Japan's seismic nerve center". Japan Times. p. 7. Retrieved .
  14. ^ "Organizations with ties to CCEP". CCEP. Retrieved .

External links

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