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Chiropractic Situation in Japan

Chiropractic was first introduced to Japan by Saburo Kawaguchi who studied at Palmer school of US in 1916. Precedence by the Supreme Court decision in 1960 allows anyone to practice spinal manipulations including chiropractic if it is not harmful to people. In 1991 "Medical research on manipulative therapy for diseases of spinal origin" so called Miura Report was published by then the Japanese Ministry of Health. This report was purposely compiled to condemn chiropractic profession by to a group of orthopedic surgeons without referring any scientific literatures or articles.

Today's laissez faire situation created numerous entrepreneurs and proprietary schools. Under this circumstance, ceasing the local standard programs and starting the new international standard colleges in the country will be the key for the future direction of the Japanese profession. The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) sees chiropractic profession as "non licensed quasi medical practice" from the following reasons. However the Employment Security Bureau of the MHLW recognizes the occupation of chiropractor while the Health Policy Bureau of the MHLW indicates that chiropractic therapy is different from other regulated health care.

  1. It is difficult to define the manipulative therapy
  2. It is impossible to prove chiropractic's identity, safety and effectiveness
  3. A large number of oppositions from medical profession and other established professional groups such as masseur, Shiatsu practitioners, acupuncturists and bonesetters, exist.

JAC claims meaningful purposes of legislation against Miura Report

  1. Adequate chiropractic care contributes a large benefit to Japanese society and patients
    (Benefits and choices for Nation)
  2. Chiropractic has its own identity which differs from other health care
    (Separation from vested interests)
  3. Practitioners are required to obtain degrees at chiropractic education institutions
    (Establishment of Identity, Safety, Effectiveness)

Guidelines requested by the National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan (NCAC)

  1. Chiropractic Guideline- Safety
  2. Chiropractic Guideline- Advertising

The Japanese Society of Chiropractic Science (JSCS)

    In 2018, the Japanese Society of Chiropracticc Science (JSCS) established within Japanese Association of Chiropractors (JAC), started hosting the annual chiropractic research conference in Japan. Japanese Chiropractic Association (JCA) prior to establishment of JSCS had held biennial chiropractic research conferences from 1983 until 1995. The Japanese Journal of Chiropractic Science (JJCS) had been published since 1984.

    ■1st Chiropractic Research Conference (Tokyo, 1983), 2nd Conference (Tokyo, 1985), 3rd Conference (Kyoto, 1987), 4th Conference (Ishikawa, 1989), 5th Conference (Kagoshima, 1991), 6th Conference (Hokkaido,1993), 7th Conference (Yokohama, 1995), 8th Conference (Tokyo, 2018), 9th Conference (Chiba, 2018)

Classifications of 'Chiropractic' and 'Chiropractor' by the Japanese government

  1. Chiropractic (industry) and Chiropractor (occupation)
  2. Medical, Healthcare and Welfare (Japan Standard Industrial Classification)

Japanese Society of Chiropractic Science Research Conference

  1. November 11 & 12, 1983 at Japan Youth Hall, Tokyo
  2. November 23 & 24, 1985 at Asakusa View Hotel, Tokyo
  3. October 10 to 12, 1987 at National Kyoto International Hall, Kyoto
  4. November 3 to 5, 1989 at Kanazawa Tourism Hall, Kanazawa
  5. November 2 & 3, 1991 at Kagoshima City Cultural Hall, Kagoshima
  6. November 21 to 23, 1993 at Royton Sapporo, Sapporo
  7. September 2 to 3, 1995 at Shinyokohama Prince Hotel, Yokohama
  8. March 11, 2018 at Tuskuba University Tokyo Campus, Tokyo
  9. November 11 & 12, 2018 at Makuhari Messe, Chiba


Name of Report Year Country Commitee Result
Chiropractic in NZ The Report of the Commission of Inquiry 1979 New Zealand B.D. Inglis (chaireman), Betty Fraser, B.R. Penfold, et al. Effective
The Austaralian Ministry of Health Report 1984 Australia Medicare Benefits Review Committee Effective
The Report of a commission on alternative medicine in Sweden 1987 Sweden A commission on alt. medicine including goverment officer, educator, MD, DC, et al. Effective
The Report of Japanese Ministry of Health: Miura Report 1991 Japan Yukio Miura (chairman), Hajime Ishida and
7 other MDs.
Not Effective

Appropriateness of Spinal Manipulation for Low-Back Pain

1991 US Shekelle, P.G. (chairman: university) , 6 MDs, 3 DCs, et al. Effective
Canadian governments
The Manga Report
1993 Canada Pran Manga (chairman: university professor)and Associates Effective
The Report of a Working Party on Chiropractic 1993 UK Sir Thomas Bingham and 10 member-group including journalists, MDs and DCs Effective
US Department of Health and Human Services AHCPR 1994 US Bigos S., et al. (23 commissioners and 2 DCs) Effective
Report of Back Pain
1994 UK Clinical Standards Advisory group: 10 members inc. 1 DC Effective
UK BEAM randomised trial: effectiveness of physical treatments for back pain in primary care 2004 UK UK Beam (back pain and exercise and manipulation) Trial Team Effective
WHO guidelines on basic training and safety in chiropractic 2005


WHO consultation on chiropractic Effective
European guidelines for the management of chronic non-specific low back pain 2004 European Commission working groups on European guidelines for acute/chronic low back pain Effective
A Joint Clinical Practice Guideline from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society 2007 US 7 medical doctors Effective
The Bone and Joint Decade 2000–2010 Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders 2008



BJD Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders Effective
NICE Guidelines 2009 UK Guideline Development Group Effective
BMA Guide to Back Care 2011 UK British Medical Association Effective
Spinal Manipulation, Medication, or Home Exercise With Advice for
Acute and Subacute Neck Pain
2012 US

Annals of Internal Medicine

medical doctors, chiropractors, researchers

Clinical Guidelines for Low Back Pain 2012 Japan Japanese Orthopaedic Association
Japanese Soceity of Lumbar Spine Disorders
Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain: Clinical Practice Guideline 2017 US American College of Physicians Effective
Guideline for opioid therapy and chronic noncancer pain 2017 Canada chiropractor, medical doctors, dentists, researchers Effective