|Headquarters||1-2-2 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 100-8916 Japan|
|Parent agency||Government of Japan|
The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (, K?sei-r?d?-sh?) is a cabinet level ministry of the Japanese government. It is commonly known as K?r?-sh? () in Japan. The 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 K?sei-sh? () and the Ministry of Labour or R?d?-sh? ().
The ministry contains the following sections as of 2019:
After a fatal bus accident on April 29, 2012, where a bus bound for Tokyo Disneyland crashed in Gunma Prefecture killing seven and injuring 39 others, the ministry launched an investigation into highway bus companies. Investigations were carried out at a total of 339 businesses. It was discovered that 95.6% (324 firms) were violating the Labor Standards Law and the Industrial Safety and Health Law. 219 businesses (64.6%) broke the law by having their drivers work behind the wheel more than the legal maximum of eight hours a day and 40 hours a week, or longer than what was agreed upon with their labour union. It also found 37 businesses, (10.9%), did not provide "at least one day off a week," which the law obliges employers to give their drivers. Also, it found that 260 (76.6%) did not observe standards involving bus driver working hours, which prohibit them from working more than 16 hours a day in combined driving and office time. The ministry said it took "corrective measures" with those who violated the laws.
Published ministry employee and outspoken critic Moriyo Kimura states that the ministry's medical officers (ikei gikan) are "corrupt and self-serving." Kimura states that the officers, who number 250, have little experience and see no patients nor practice medicine after being hired by the ministry. Thus, says Kimura, Japan's public health policies lag behind other developed countries, by "decades".
There is a view that there is a considerable shortage in the welfare policy of the Japanese people due to the practical limitation that the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare is specialized in the function of employment and labour rather than health and welfare. In many other countries, the department specialized in employment and labour and the department specialized in health and welfare are totally separated in functional formation, so the response can be relatively rapid in the case of a health crisis, but in Japan, there is a limitation that the response in the field of health and welfare is relatively slow.