Within the structural framework of Japan's central government, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) is placed as an extra-ministerial
bureau of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT).
Organizational chart of the national authorities of Japan
JMA is comprised of Headquarters, District/Marine/Local Meteorological Observatories and Weather Stations, and Auxiliary Facilities. All
JMA services are conducted with a total staff of 5,454 and budgetary resources of 69.3 billion yen (approx. US$860 million) per year as of
Organizational structure of JMA
JMA Headquarters serves as both the administrative and operational center of the Agency. It has a Director-General, a Deputy Director-General
and five departments: the Administration Department, the Forecast Department, the Observations Department, the Seismological
and Volcanological Department, and the Global Environment and Marine Department.
To provide a wide range of services for local communities, JMA
operates a number of observatories and weather stations across
the country. The Sapporo, Sendai, Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka
District Meteorological Observatories (DMOs) and the Okinawa
Meteorological Observatory serve as regional central offices
directing 47 Local Meteorological Observatories (LMOs) and 2
Weather Stations, both of which provide information services on
prefectural and sub-prefectural levels.
A total of 4 Aviation Weather Service Centers (AWSCs), 6
aviation weather stations and 42 airport branches have been
established to support aviation meteorological services. Four
Marine Observatories in Hakodate, Kobe, Nagasaki and Maizuru
also offer marine meteorological and oceanographic services.
JMA main offices
The JMA auxiliary facilities outlined below are operated to support specialized services such as research, investigation and education/training.
The Meteorological Research Institute (MRI) is a JMA research facility. Its nine research
departments cover broad areas of meteorology including weather forecasting, climate,
typhoons, physical meteorology and observation systems, as well as other fi elds related to
earth science such as seismology, volcanology, oceanography and geochemistry.
The Meteorological Satellite Center (MSC) deals with the meteorological side of the series
of Multi-functional Transport Satellites (MTSAT), which carry out earth observation and related
telecommunication operations. MSC receives observational data from MTSAT through the
Command and Data Acquisition Station (CDAS) located in Hatoyama, Saitama. The Center
is also responsible for deriving operational products from MTSAT and other polar-orbiting
satellites such as the US NOAA-series of spacecraft.
The Aerological Observatory conducts comprehensive observation of the upper
atmosphere using captive balloons, radiosondes and other instruments. It also observes
the ozone layer and solar radiation, including the harmful ultraviolet type. The Observatory
functions as a technical center for studies on the upper atmosphere and for the development
and improvement of technologies related to upper-air observation.
The Magnetic Observatory (also known as Kakioka Magnetic Observatory) monitors
electromagnetic conditions in and around the earth. It provides geomagnetic data for
monitoring of the solar-terrestrial environment and for investigations on volcanic eruptions
and earthquakes. The Observatory serves as one of the standard observation stations for
geomagnetism accredited by the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG).
Meteorological College (in Kashiwa, Chiba)
The Meteorological College is a JMA training institute offering four-year college
courses and various training programs. On the four-year course, a total of around
60 students are educated in meteorology as well as basic science and geophysics.
Graduates of the College go on to work for JMA as professional staff members. The
training programs comprise a number of short-term courses on weather forecasting,
seismology/volcanology and marine meteorology, and are aimed at improving the
technical capabilities of JMA staff members.