The responsibility for the registration of nurses lies with the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. To practice nursing one must obtain a license from the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare.
Regulation of Midwife (1899-), Regulation of Nurse(1915-), and Public Health Nurse(1941-) existed before World War Ⅱ. Following the end of World War II, under the control of GHQ (General Headquarters of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers), Japan adopted the Public Health Nurse, Midwife and Nurse Law (1948) as a new law concerning nursing professionals. It defines its objectives as "improving the quality of public health nurses, midwives and registered nurses, and proliferating / enhancing medical care and public sanitation".
Today, professional nursing qualifications, officially recognized in Japan, are "Public Health Nurse", "Midwife", "Registered Nurse" and "Assistant Nurse". The above Law defines the terms and scope of duties for each qualification (Article 2-5).