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What is the NPA?

National Public Employees are stipulated as gservants of all the peopleh in the constitution and are absolutely required to perform their duties with neutrality and fairness.

For this reason, based on the hThe National Public Service Acth, the NPA was established as a neutral and specialized organization responsible for ensuring fairness in personnel administration and protecting the benefits of national public employees.

The main functions of the NPA are as follows:

›Implementing recruitment examinations, trainingprograms and establishing standards for appointment and dismissal which ensure fairness in personnel administration.

›Making recommendations to the Diet and the Cabinet regarding remuneration and other working conditions for national public employees as compensation for the restriction of fundamental labor rights.

›Researching domestic and international systems of personnel management and enforcing personnel management measures that can meet the needs of the times as a specialized agency for personnel administration.

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The organizational structure of the NPA is headed by three commissioners, one of whom is given the role of president. Commissioners are appointed by the Cabinet with approval of the Diet. Appointment and dismissal of Commissioners are attested by the Emperor.

The NPA Secretariat is placed under the NPA as an administrative department. The Secretariat is composed of four divisions and four offices under the Secretary-General, the National Institute of Public Administration, eight regional bureaus, and the Okinawa Local Office.

In addition, the National Public Service Ethics Board is set up under the NPA, based on the National Public Service Law and the National Public Service Ethics Law.

[Secretariat divisions (General Affairs, Planning and Legal Affairs, Personnel Affairs, and Financial Affairs divisions)]

These Secretariat divisions are in charge of internal management duties, including general, personnel and financial affairs, interpretation of laws and regulations authorized by the NPA, administrative affairs related to review of bills, and comprehensive coordination to deploy consistent, NPA-wide personnel administrative measures. These divisions are studying and reviewing mid- to long-term personnel administrative measures.

[Employee Welfare Bureau]

The Employee Welfare Bureau engages in duties related to improvement of working conditions of all national public employees. These duties include establishment of rules on working hours and leave systems; publicizing supportive measures for balancing work and child and nursing care to the Cabinet Office, Ministries and their employees; promoting utilization of these measures; planning of systems related to health, safety and accident compensation; and guidance on measures to prevent sexual harassment to the Office and Ministries.

Furthermore, the bureau is making efforts to ensure appropriate operation of overall personnel administration through review of national public employees' employment at profit-making enterprises and inspection of payrolls.

The bureau also engages in a wide range of duties for all national public employees, including administrative affairs related to the computerization of internal management operations such as personnel and remuneration affairs, administrative affairs related to the employee discipline and employee organizations, measures to respond to the aging of national public employees, and international cooperation related to personnel administration.

[Human Resources Bureau]

The Human Resources Bureau engages in recruitment, promotion, guarantee of status, and human resources development of national public employees.

Specifically, the bureau is in charge of recruitment activities to widely invite diverse and competent persons to the public service, creation of recruitment examinations, implementation of recruitment examinations, management of the recruitment eligible lists, planning and operation of the employment systems including the newly-introduced fixed-term employee system and the personnel exchange program between the government and the private sector, and planning and implementation of various training for employees of the Office and Ministries. The major role of the Human Resources Bureau is securing and developing human resources to support the country who can quickly respond to changes of the environment surrounding public administration, such as changes of social and economic conditions, progress of globalization and advanced computerization.

[Remuneration Bureau]

The Remuneration Bureau conducts a survey of remuneration of private enterprises every year as compensatory measures for the denial of labor rights to national public employees and makes necessary recommendations to the Diet and the Cabinet so that the remuneration of national public employees will be adapted to the general social conditions.

The bureau also engages in duties related to the remuneration system of national public employees. These duties include establishment of NPA Rules and other laws and regulations related to remuneration and allowance systems to implement the "Remuneration Law", establishment of fundamental standards related to the fixed numbers in each job grade designed to ensure uniformity of performance appraisal at the Office and each Ministry and make appropriate and reasonable decisions on the remuneration, and guidance on these systems to the Office and Ministries.

[Equity and Investigation Bureau]

The Equity and Investigation Bureau engages in quasi-judicial duties, such as conducting hearings and other necessary investigations regarding objections and issuing judgments, when a national public employee files an objection or a claim to administrative measures to the NPA based on laws and regulations. These include objections associated with an adverse or disciplinary action such as demotion or dismissal, requests for appropriate administrative measures on working conditions, and objection to an accreditation of accidents in the line of duties or a decision on remuneration. The bureau also engages in complaint counseling, explanation and advices concerning the systems, and meditating to resolve the cases amicably.