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Japan Meteorological Agency
Kishō-chō (気象庁)
JMA logo

JMA headquarters building in Tokyo
Agency overview
FormedJuly 1, 1956; 67 years ago (1956-07-01)
Preceding agencies
  • Tokyo Meteorological Observatory
  • Central Meteorological Observatory
JurisdictionGovernment of Japan
Headquarters3-6-9 Toranomon, Minato City, Tokyo, Japan
35°39′57″N 139°44′45″E / 35.66583°N 139.74583°E / 35.66583; 139.74583
Employees5,539 (2010)[1]
Annual budget¥62.0 billion (2010–11)[2]
¥59.0 billion (2011–12)[3]
¥58.9 billion (est. 2012)[3]
Agency executives
  • Toshihiko Hashida, Director-General
  • Itaru Kaga, Deputy Director-General
Parent agencyMinistry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism

The Japan Meteorological Agency (気象庁, Kishō-chō), abbreviated JMA, is an agency of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.[4] It is charged with gathering and providing results for the public in Japan that are obtained from data based on daily scientific observation and research into natural phenomena in the fields of meteorology, hydrology, seismology and volcanology, among other related scientific fields. Its headquarters is located in Minato, Tokyo.

JMA is responsible for gathering and reporting weather data and forecasts for the general public, as well as providing aviation and marine weather data. JMA's other responsibilities include issuing warnings for volcanic eruptions and the nationwide issuance of earthquake warnings of the Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) system. JMA is also designated one of the Regional Specialized Meteorological Centers of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). It is responsible for forecasting, naming, and distributing warnings for tropical cyclones in the Northwestern Pacific region, including the Celebes Sea, the Sulu Sea, the South China Sea, the East China Sea, the Yellow Sea, the Sea of Japan and the Sea of Okhotsk.


Meteorological organizations in Japan have their origins in the 1870s, when the first weather stations started being established in the country.[1] One of these was the Tokyo Meteorological Observatory (東京気象台, Tōkyō Kishō-dai), which since 1956 has been known as the Japan Meteorological Agency (気象庁, Kishō-chō). It was originally formed within the Survey Division of the Geography Bureau of the Home Ministry (内務省地理寮量地課, Naimu-shō Chiri-ryō Ryōchi-ka).[1][5] However, jurisdiction over the agency has changed several times over the years, and since the Japanese government reformation in 2001, it has been an agency of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (国土交通省, Kokudo-kōtsū-shō). Its headquarters have also changed several times, and as of November 24, 2020, they are now located in Toranomon, Minato, Tokyo.[6]


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JMA headquarters in Ōtemachi (1964–2020)



The JMA is responsible for observing, gathering and reporting weather data and forecasts, and warning for earthquakes, tsunamis, typhoons and volcanic eruptions..[8]

The agency has six regional administrative offices (including five DMOs and Okinawa Meteorological Observatory), four Marine Observatories, five auxiliary facilities, four Aviation Weather Service Centers and 47 local offices composed of the LMOs. These are also used to gather data, supplemented by weather satellites such as Himawari, and other research institutes.[8]

In 1968, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) designated the JMA as a Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre (RSMC) for Asia.[9] In June 1988, the WMO also assigned the JMA as a RSMC for the Northwestern Pacific under its Tropical Cyclone programme.[9] In July 1989, the RSMC Tokyo – Typhoon Center was established within the headquarters office, which dealt with the forecasting and dissemination of active tropical cyclones, as well as preparing a summary of each year's cyclone activity.[10]

Observation and forecast

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Land weather

Each DMO and LMO issues weather forecasts and warnings or advisories to the general public live in its own area. Weather data used to these forecasts are acquired from the Surface Observation (represented by the AMeDAS), the Radar Observation, the Observation and the Satellite Observation mainly using the Himawari series of satellites.

Marine weather

See also: Marine weather forecasting

The Marine Observatories are seated in Hakodate, Maizuru, Kobe, Nagasaki. These stations observe ocean waves, tide levels, sea surface temperatures and ocean currents etc. in the Northwestern Pacific basin, as well as the Sea of Japan, the Sea of Okhotsk, and provide marine meteorological forecasts in cooperation with the Hydrographic and Oceanographic Department, Japan Coast Guard.

Aviation weather

See also: METAR and SIGMET

In 2005, in accordance with the ICAO's new CNS/ATM system, the Civil Aviation Bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism set up the Air Traffic Management Center (ATMC) in Fukuoka, where the FIR is fixed. Along with this establishment, JMA placed the Air Traffic Mateorology Center (ATMetC) inside the ATMC.

The agency forecasts SIGMET for aircraft in flight within the Fukuoka FIR airspace, while VOLMET is broadcast by each Aviation Weather Service Center at the airports of Haneda, Narita, Centrair and Kansai.

Tropical cyclones

See also: Typhoon and 2024 Pacific typhoon season

In the Northwestern Pacific area, the typhoon season ordinarily comes almost from May to November. The JMA forecasts and warns or advises on tropical cyclones to the public in Japan and its surrounding countries as the RSMC Tokyo – Typhoon Center.[11]


See also: Japan Meteorological Agency seismic intensity scale and Earthquake Early Warning (Japan)

The JMA has 624 observation stations across Japan[12] which are set up at intervals of 20 km approximately[13] in order to measure the seismic intensity of earthquakes precisely. The agency also utilizes about 2,900 seismographs[12] owned by the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Resilience [ja] (NIED) and local governments. A 24-hour office is housed within the JMA headquarters in Tokyo for monitoring and tracking seismic events in the vicinity of Japan to collect and process their data, which distributes observed earthquake information on its hypocenter, magnitude, seismic intensity and possibility of tsunami occurrence after quakes quickly to the public through the Earthquake Phenomena Observation System (EPOS).[14] The Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) system began to work fully for the general public on October 1, 2007.

The agency is one of the representatives of the national Coordinating Committee for Earthquake Prediction.[15]


See also: Tsunami warning system

In case of a possibility of tsunami after an earthquake, JMA issues Tsunami Warning or Advisory for each region in Japan with information of estimated tsunami heights and arrival times within 2 to 3 minutes of the quake.


See also: Volcanic Ash Advisory Center

The agency four Volcanic Observations and Information Centers within DMOs in Sapporo, Sendai, Tokyo and Fukuoka. These centers monitor volcanic events on 110 active volcanos in Japan. 47 of these volcanos selected by the Coordinating Committee for Prediction of Volcanic Eruption are under 24-hour observation with seismographs, accelerometers, GPS, air-shock recorders, fixed point observation cameras and other equipment. If it is predicted that a volcanic eruption will affect inhabited areas or around a crater, Volcanic Warnings are issued and supplemented by Volcanic Alert Levels.



Local offices

Auxiliary organs

Directors-General and Chief Executives

Chief Executives of Central Meteorological Observatory

  1. Arai Ikunosuke (荒井 郁之助): 1890–1891
  2. Kobayashi Kazutomo (小林 一知): 1891–1895
  3. Nakamura Kiyoo (中村 精男): 1895–1923
  4. Okada Takematsu (岡田 武松): 1923–1941
  5. Fujiwhara Sakuhei (藤原 咲平): 1941–1947
  6. Wadachi Kiyoo (和達 清夫): 1947–1956

Directors-General of JMA

  1. Wadachi Kiyoo (和達 清夫): 1956–1963
  2. Hatakeyama Hisanao (畠山 久尚): 1963–1965
  3. Shibata Yoshiji (柴田 淑次): 1965–1969
  4. Yoshitake Motoji (吉武 素二): 1969–1971
  5. Takahashi Koūchirō (高橋 浩一郎): 1971–1974
  6. Mouri Keitarō (毛利 圭太郎): 1974–1976
  7. Arizumi Naosuke (有住 直介): 1976–1978
  8. Kubota Masaya (窪田 正八): 1978–1980
  9. Masuzawa Jōtarō (増澤 譲太郎): 1980–1983
  10. Suehiro Shigeji (末廣 重二): 1983–1985
  11. Uchida Eiji (内田 英治): 1985–1987
  12. Kikuchi Yukio (菊地 幸雄): 1987–1990
  13. Tatehira Ryōzō (立平 良三): 1990–1992
  14. Nitta Takashi (新田 尚): 1992–1993
  15. Ninomiya Kōzō (二宮 洸三): 1993–1996
  16. Ono Toshiyuki (小野 俊行): 1996–1998
  17. Takigawa Yūsō (瀧川 雄壮): 1998–2000
  18. Yamamoto Kōji (山本 孝二): 2000–2003
  19. Kitade Takeo (北出 武夫): 2003–2004
  20. Nagasaka Kōichi (長坂 昴一): 2004–2006
  21. Hiraki Satoshi (平木 哲): 2006–2009
  22. Sakurai Kunio (櫻井 邦雄): 2009–2011
  23. Hatori Mitsuhiko (羽鳥 光彦): 2011–2014
  24. Nishide Noritake (西出 則武): 2014–2016
  25. Hashida Toshihiko (橋田 俊彦): 2016–2019
  26. Sekita Yasuo (関田 康雄): 2019–2021
  27. Hasegawa Naoyuki (長谷川直之): 2021-present

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e 総合パンフレット「気象庁」 (PDF) (in Japanese). Japan Meteorological Agency. January 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 31, 2012. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
  2. ^ 平成23年度 気象庁関係予算決定概要 (PDF) (in Japanese). Japan Meteorological Agency. December 24, 2010. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
  3. ^ a b 平成24年度 気象庁関係予算決定概要 (PDF) (in Japanese). Japan Meteorological Agency. December 24, 2011. Retrieved April 1, 2012.
  4. ^ "国土交通省設置法 (e-Gov)" (in Japanese). 総務省. Archived from the original on February 15, 2012. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
  5. ^ a b Kan'ichi Koinuma (March 1969). 内務省における気象観測の開始の経緯と気象台の名称 (PDF) (in Japanese). Meteorological Society of Japan. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Access to JMA Headquarters". Japan Meteorological Agency. November 24, 2020. Retrieved December 10, 2020. JMA Headquarters moved on 24 November 2020.
  7. ^ a b 気象庁庁舎移転後の新しい露場を選定 (PDF) (in Japanese). Japan Meteorological Agency. September 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 14, 2012. Retrieved March 30, 2012.
  8. ^ a b "Japan Meteorological Agency: The national meteorological service of Japan" (PDF). Japan Meteorological Agency. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 13, 2012. Retrieved February 7, 2011.
  9. ^ a b "Cooperation through WMO and Other Multilateral Activities". Japan Meteorological Agency. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
  10. ^ Japan Meteorological Organization (February 2001). "Annual Report on Activities of the RSMC Tokyo – Typhoon Center 2000" (PDF). Retrieved November 21, 2011.
  11. ^ RSMC Tokyo – Typhoon Center
  12. ^ a b "Table of Observation Stations" (PDF). The Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion (of Japan). September 2011. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
  13. ^ Jochen Zschau; Andreas N. Küppers, eds. (2002). Early Warning Systems for Natural Disaster Reduction. Springer. p. 449. ISBN 978-3-540-67962-2.
  14. ^ Corkill, Edan (April 10, 2011). "Japan's seismic nerve center". Japan Times. p. 7. Retrieved March 31, 2012.
  15. ^ "Organizations with ties to CCEP". CCEP. Retrieved March 19, 2011.