Japan has participated as a voting member of GBIF since its inception. Node Managers have included Dr Keiichi Matsuura, National Museum of Nature and Science (2002-2003); Dr Motomi Ito, Tokyo University (2003-2012); and Dr Tsuyoshi Hosoya, National Museum of Nature and Science (2012- present).
Until 2010, the activity in Japan to provide biodiversity information to GBIF was under the jurisdiction of the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). After the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity, held in Nagoya, Japan, in October 2010, biodiversity issues that had been under the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) were switched to the Ministry of Environment (MOE). This change in governance resulted in a remarkable change in the governance of the Japan Node (JBIF). In 2012, JBIF was renewed and current structure was established.
JBIF’s aim is to “promote the collection and application of biodiversity information in Japan and accelerate contribution to the international community”, based on the following six major strategies: 1) Raise awareness about biodiversity information, 2) Improve museums’ abilities to function as repositories of biodiversity data, 3) Raise awareness within the general public and government agencies about the importance of biodiversity information, 4) Enhance the visibility of the Japan Node in the GBIF community, 5) Promote cooperation with related projects, 6) Assume cooperative leadership in Asian activities.
JBIF has a two-layered structure. There is a higher decision-making group (Node Steering Committee; meeting twice a year) consisting of 16 people from various national institutes, agencies, and local museums, that endorses and directs the activity of the Working Group. The Working Group consists of 11 people from various National Institutes, (meeting on an irregular basis, but at least twice at the occasion of the Node Steering Committee meetings). All members are participating on a voluntary basis.
The Head of Delegation role is officially assigned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The major supporting agency for GBIF activities in Japan is MOE, while the major institutes involved in the activity are under the jurisdiction of MEXT, namely universities, national institutes, and local and national museums.
The Government provides funding for data management through the National BioResource Project, to the National Institute of Genetics and National Museum of Nature and Science, and domestic activities concerning GBIF are partially supported. Additional funding is being obtained by the members themselves or through their organizations.
The basic financial contribution to GBIF is made by the Ministry of the Environment of Japan.