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The Japanese public policy reform process started with the establishment of the Administrative Reform Council in 1996. In 2001, the government of Japan reorganized its central machinery, and the National Diet passed the “Government Policy Evaluation Act.” Since then, where required, central and local government offices have made great efforts to institutionalize the use of policy and performance evaluations. The public demands an evaluation of government policies and programs. However, their interest remains centered on the output of current policies and programs and not in the direction of future policies or programs. For civil society, including NGOs/NPOs, it is not easy to conduct regular self-evaluation due to financial and human resource constraints. The Japan Evaluation Society was established in 2000 to promote evaluation in Japan. It covers all evaluation-related academic fields, publishes academic journals, implements training courses, honors contributors, and organizes annual conferences and seminars. Several universities offer academic courses on evaluation. However, career development for YEE is rather difficult due to the unique recruitment system existing in Japan.

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  1. 1.

    PCM method was originally produced by the Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development (FASID).

  2. 2.

    As of August 2021, there are 47 prefectures, 792 cities, 743 towns, and 183 villages in Japan (MIC HP Accessed on 13 January 2023).

  3. 3.

    For more information, please refer to Neary (2019).

  4. 4. Accessed on 21 August 2021.

  5. 5.

    The latest version of the Government Policy Evaluation Act was enacted in 2018.

  6. 6.

    This is due to the Japanese recruitment and placement system. Most government officials are not recruited as specialists, such as evaluators. They are generalists and become responsible for evaluating their own programmes and projects.

  7. 7. Accessed on 1 November 2021.

  8. 8.

    Board of Audit of Japan, Accessed on 31 October 2021.

  9. 9.

    MIC, Accessed on 31 October 2021.

  10. 10.

    Please see the JICA’s project evaluation website for further details. Accessed on 16 October 2021.

  11. 11.

    Please note that in addition to the cited references, the following sources were also used in the review for this article: CAO (2021), MOFA (2021c), and Yamaya (2002b, 2016).

  12. 12.

    Exchange rate is 110 Japanese yen = 1 US dollar (August 26, 2021).

  13. 13.

    Japanese Journal of Evaluation Studies, Accessed on 16 October 2021.

  14. 14.

    Evaluation Quarterly (only in Japanese), Accessed on 16 October 2021.


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Correspondence to Keiko Nishino .

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Nishino, K., Ishida, Y., Yamaya, K. (2023). Evaluation in Japan. In: Stockmann, R., Meyer, W., Zierke, N. (eds) The Institutionalisation of Evaluation in Asia-Pacific. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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