Seven initiatives for connecting information resources and intellectual activities

Spurred on by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, advances in information technology are transforming both our social activities and how we communicate with others online. Put plainly, our society is experiencing an ever-accelerating digital shift. In recognition of this, the National Diet Library is now planning seven initiatives that are intended to better connect over the next five years information resources with intellectual activities under the moniker The Digital Shift at the National Diet Library. These initiatives will be part of two ongoing projects: the first, to achieve universal access to information by making a wide range of information resources available to all users; the second, to support the development of a permanent national digital information infrastructure.

Achieving universal access

Achieving universal access

1 Enhancing services that support the National Diet

2 Increasing the volume of materials available via the Internet

3 Facilitating access to materials for those with print disabilities

4 Providing access to information in support of individual study

Developing a permanent national
digital information infrastructure

5 Accelerating digitization of materials

6 Collecting and preserving digital materials

7 Promoting the utilization of digital archives

Basic Roles of the National Diet Library

In carrying out the mission prescribed for it in the preamble of the National Diet Library Law, the National Diet Library undertakes its core duty of collecting all materials and information published in Japan under the legal deposit system as well as providing services that support the activities not just of the National Diet itself but of agencies in the executive and judicial branches of government as well as of the Japanese public. In addition to these basic roles, we also now undertake the seven initiatives described above as we promote The Digital Shift at the National Diet Library.

Supporting the National Diet

Illustration of the National Diet Building Illustration of the National Diet Building

The NDL provides reliable research and analysis on national policy issues as well as other prompt and accurate information services that support the activities of the National Diet. Additionally, we make information about the National Diet available to the general public via the Internet, thereby helping to connect the Diet with the people it represents.

Related statistics

Minutes of the
Diet Database
7.72million searches per year
and analysis
cases per year

Providing access to information resources

Illustration of providing access to information resources

We provide access via the Internet as well as at local libraries through remote services for searching, browsing, photocopying, and acquiring information. We also provide browsing, photocopying, and reference services for patrons at our facilities.

Related statistics

Onsite patrons 700,000
persons per year
Access to digital materials 79.32million
pageviews per year

Tie-ins with other institutions

Illustration of Tie-ins with other institutions

We provide useful access to knowledge and culture for all people through our tie-ins with a wide variety of affiliated institutions, both in Japan and abroad.

Related statistics

programs for
and others are
times per year
Data linkage with 1,100

Acquiring, cataloging, and preserving materials and information

We acquire, catalog, and preserve as well as digitize materials from Japan and abroad.

Illustration of bookshelf

Statistics about non-digital materials

44.92million materials acquired via legal deposit, purchase, or donation

Newspapers/CDs, DVDs, etc.

new materials acquired each year
materials repaired each year
materials digitized
new materials acquired each year
records in our Japanese periodicals index
NDL Authorities

Statistics about digital materials



files collected from websites
online publications collected
89different databases available on site

Three facilities of the NDL

The Tokyo Main Library

Illustration of The Tokyo Main Library
Providing library services for the National Diet while overseeing the operation of three facilities.
Storage capacity: 4.5 million in the Main Building
7.5 million in the Annex
Reading space: 1,533 seats in 18,983 m² of floor space

The Kansai-kan

Illustration of The Kansai-kan
Serving as the base of operations for all remote library services as well as providing on-site library services for the general public.
Storage capacity: 6 million in the Main Building
5 million in the Stack Building
Reading space: 358 seats in 4,265 m² of floor space

The International Library of Children's Literature

Illustration of The International Library of Children's Literature
A library specializing in children’s literature.
Storage capacity: 400,000 in the Brick Building
650,000 in the Arch Building
Reading space: 162 seats in 2,054 m² of floor space

*Statistics for FY 2019