Japan Meteorological Agency

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Japan Meteorological Agency
Kishō-chō (気象庁)
Japan Meteorological Agency logo2.jpg
JMA logo
JMA Toranomon office 2020-11-24.jpg
JMA headquarters building in Tokyo
Agency overview
FormedJuly 1, 1956;64 years ago (1956-07-01)
Preceding agencies
  • Tokyo Meteorological Observatory
  • Central Meteorological Observatory
Jurisdiction Government of Japan
Headquarters3-6-9 Toranomon, Minato City, Tokyo, Japan
35°39′57.45″N139°44′44.97″E / 35.6659583°N 139.7458250°E / 35.6659583; 139.7458250 Coordinates: 35°39′57.45″N139°44′44.97″E / 35.6659583°N 139.7458250°E / 35.6659583; 139.7458250
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 agency Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
Website www.jma.go.jp

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. JMA 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.


JMA headquarters in Otemachi (1964-2020) Japan Meteorological Agency 2012.JPG
JMA headquarters in Ōtemachi (1964–2020)



The JMA is responsible not only for gathering and reporting weather data and forecasts in Japan, but also for observation and warning of 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


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 Upper-air Observation and the Satellite Observation mainly using the Himawari series.

Marine weather

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

Aviation weather

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 Meteorology 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 Centers at the airports of Haneda, Narita, Centrair and Kansai. Additionally, Aviation Weather Stations (beside the airports of New Chitose, Sendai, Osaka, Fukuoka, Kagoshima and Naha) deal with the similar tasks as these.

Tropical cyclones

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 well because it also works as the RSMC Tokyo – Typhoon Center. [11]


The JMA has its own 624 observation stations across the country [12] that set up at intervals of 20 km approximately [13] in order to measure seismic intensity of earthquakes precisely. The agency also utilize about 2,900 more seismographs [12] owned by the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (NIED) and local governments. A 24-hour office has been 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 issues observed earthquake's 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]


It is essential to provide coastal regions for tsunami information so that its catastrophic damages can be reduced and mitigated there. In case of there is 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.


The agency set up four Volcanic Observations and Information Centers within DMOs in Sapporo, Sendai, Tokyo and Fukuoka. They are monitoring volcanic events on 110 active volcanos in Japan and 47 of these volcanos selected by the Coordinating Committee for Prediction of Volcanic Eruption are under the 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 are 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–present

See also

Related Research Articles

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Typhoon Ida (1958)

Typhoon Ida, also known as the Kanogawa Typhoon, was the sixth-deadliest typhoon to hit Japan, as well as one of the strongest tropical cyclones on record. On September 20, Ida formed in the Western Pacific near Guam. It moved to the west and rapidly intensified into a 115 mph (185 km/h) typhoon by the next day. On September 22, Ida turned to the north and continued its quick rate of intensification. Two days later, the Hurricane Hunters observed a minimum barometric pressure of 877 mb (25.9 inHg), as well as estimated peak winds of 325 km/h (200 mph). This made Ida the strongest tropical cyclone on record at the time, although it was surpassed by Typhoon June 17 years later. Ida weakened as it continued to the north-northeast, and made landfall in Japan on southeastern Honshū with winds of 80 mph on September 26. It became extratropical the next day, and dissipated on the 28th to the east of the country. Ida caused torrential flooding to southeastern Japan, resulting in over 1,900 mudslides. Damage was estimated at $50 million, and there were 1,269 fatalities.

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Local Meteorological Observatory

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Typhoon Hagibis Pacific typhoon in 2019

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Typhoon Songda (2011) Pacific typhoon in 2011

Typhoon Songda, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Chedeng, was an exceptionally strong and catastrophic typhoon that lashed the eastern coast of the Philippines as a Category 5–equivalent super typhoon and affected the nearby Taiwan and Japan as a weakening tropical cyclone. The fourth tropical depression, second named storm and the first super typhoon of the 2011 Pacific typhoon season, Songda formed from a non-tropical low that was embedded from the Intertropical Convergence Zone on May 17. An area of low-pressure subsequently formed and became organized for the JTWC to issue a TCFA on the system and the JMA to issue advisories, before both agencies declared it a tropical storm, earning the name Songda. Under favorable conditions, Songda slowly intensified as it entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility, with the PAGASA naming it Chedeng on May 23. On the next day, the three agencies declared the system a typhoon before rapidly intensifying to a super typhoon over the Philippine Sea. As it entered an unfavorable environment for further strengthening, Songda slowly weakened as it passed near Taiwan, before becoming extratropical near Japan. The remnants of the system slowly moved to the northeast, before absorbing to another extratropical cyclone to the south of Alaska.

Typhoon Talim (2017) Western Pacific typhoon in 2017

Typhoon Talim, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Lannie, was an intense and destructive tropical cyclone that affected parts of East Asia, especially Japan, during September 2017. The eighteenth named storm and the sixth typhoon of the 2017 Pacific typhoon season, Talim's origins can be traced back to an area of low-pressure that the Joint Typhoon Warning Center first monitored on September 6. The disturbance was upgraded to a tropical depression by the Japan Meteorological Agency only two days later, and it became a tropical storm on September 9, earning the name Talim. Talim grew stronger over the next few days, eventually becoming a typhoon the next day. Within a favorable environment, the typhoon rapidly intensified after passing through the Ryukyu Islands. However, as it moved eastward, Talim started to weaken due to wind shear, and on September 16, it was downgraded to a tropical storm. The storm passed over Japan, near Kyushu the next day, before becoming extratropical on September 18. The extratropical remnants were last noted by the JMA four days later, before dissipating fully on September 22.

March 2021 Miyagi earthquake Earthquakes in Japan

The March 2021 Miyagi earthquake was an earthquake that struck offshore east of Tōhoku, Japan on March 20, 2021 at 18:09 JST. The magnitude 6.9 or 7.0 earthquake struck at a depth of 54.0 kilometers (33.6 mi) to 60 kilometers (37 mi). It had a maximum JMA intensity of Shindo 5+ while on the Mercalli intensity scale, it earned a rating of VII. Power outages and some slight damage in Miyagi was reported.


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