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Inaugural Greetings from the Librarian

Portrait of Dr. Hanyu, Librarian of the National Diet Library

I am honored to have been appointed the 16th Librarian of the National Diet Library.

I would like to express my earnest appreciation to everyone for your support of and cooperation with the activities of the National Diet Library.

Having been established in 1948, the National Diet Library will celebrate its 70th anniversary in just two years' time. Rest assured that all of us who work here at the NDL are committed to building upon the achievements of fifteen previous Librarians as we continue to expand and to enhance the services and activities provided by the NDL.

The National Diet Library was established as the sole national library in Japan by the National Diet Library Law, which states:

The National Diet Library is hereby established as a result of the firm conviction that truth makes us free and with the object of contributing to international peace and the democratization of Japan as promised in our Constitution.

Article 2
The National Diet Library shall collect books and other library materials for the purpose of assisting the members of the National Diet in the performance of their duties and also for the purpose of providing certain library services as hereinafter specified for the executive and judicial agencies of the national government and for the people of Japan.

As one of the organizations that comprise the National Diet and in conformance with the National Diet Library Law, our most important mission is to provide objective information based on reliable resources to assist the deliberations of the National Diet as the representative of the Japanese people. In fulfilling this responsibility, it is of vital importance that we collect and preserve materials in conformance with the NDL Law. Given the rapid advances made in digitization technology, it falls to the NDL to keep abreast of the state of the art in library sciences and take full advantage of the increasingly effective means of acquiring, preserving, and providing public access to library materials. Clearly, it is impossible to overstate the importance of maintaining a long-term perspective which constantly looks toward the future.

We have entered the final year of our current five-year plan, which was formulated in 2012 as "Mission and Objectives 2012-2016 and Strategic Goals" and comprises the following six objectives:

  1. Enhancement of Support to the Diet
  2. Enrichment of Legal Deposit and Adaptation to the Digital age for Acquisition and Preservation
  3. Improvement of Information Access
  4. Strengthening of Collaboration and Cooperation between Related Parties in and outside of Japan
  5. Archives of the Great East Japan Earthquake
  6. Transparent and Efficient Administration

One of our most immediate duties is to compile and assess the results of the current plan and formulate objectives for a new one.

It is said that a library is a place where knowledge is available across time and space.

We now have access to a great number of library collections that were accumulated throughout history, and which makes available to us knowledge from all times and all places. The transmission of knowledge enables us to learn of the past, understand the present, and envision the future. This is one of the ways in which libraries contribute to the development of a knowledge-based society.

The National Diet Library plays a particularly important role in providing information directly to those who deliberate our nation's future. At the same time, the NDL's mission includes contributing to the construction of Japan's knowledge base and providing library materials to all members of the public at large.

I promise you that, as the Librarian of the National Diet Library, I am dedicated entirely to working hand in hand with all NDL staff members to accomplish the work of Japan's sole national library.

Once again, allow me to express my heartfelt appreciation for your continued understanding and cooperation and to ask for your continued guidance and support.

April, 2016

Sawako Hanyu, Ph.D.

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