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Erroneous stats are multiplying the problems in government

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Shigenobu Okuma (1838-1922) earned the sobriquet of “Tokei-haku” (Count Statistics) for his emphasis on the importance of statistics in the Meiji government.

The prominent politician was instrumental in the establishment of “Tokei-in” (the forerunner of the Statistics Bureau) in 1881 and became its first chief. But the agency, created amid a government cost-cutting drive, was criticized by some as “Okuma’s hobby.”

It was an era when the importance of statistics was not widely recognized.

Okuma, after leaving public office and spending some time outside the government, assumed such posts as foreign minister and........

© The Asahi Shimbun