■ The official, formal method in a Japanese company for getting management or executive approval for a policy or expenditure.
A Japanese company has three ways for getting official written approval for policies and expenditures: 1) in a minuted meeting, 2) through standard reports, 3) through a ringi. The meeting method is the least formal, the ringi method is the most formal.
A ringi is a serious and formal way to force people to agree or disagree on policy (方針稟議 ほうしんりんぎ) or a financial expenditure (実施稟議 じっしりんぎ). Normally, a number of people all have to approve the ringi contents, such as budget controllers for expenditures and personnel managers if it involves personnel transfers. The number of people to sign off can range from 3 to over 30. The more important the ringi is, the higher the rank of the person to finally approve it and the more managers required for intermediate approval.
It is a major embarrassment to have a ringi rejected by the top person on the list. It is possible to get the ringi passed if one or more of the lower people express their opposition in writing (on the ringi) but this takes some major politicking. Hence there is a need for major 根回し（ねまわし） for important ringi's.
Ringi's are not used for minor expenditures. In a certain major manufacturer, any expenditure under \200,000 just needs a purchase order. This company used to require all ringi's to be signed off by the president, but to reduce his workload they now have a three-tier system, where the amount of expenditure determines the level of the manager/executive who makes the final approval. The most important ringi's continue to be debated at a board meeting before being approved or disapproved by the president.
Because of their seriousness, ringi's are assigned a special control system, with central control of both their numbering and their storage after approval. The requester has to remember the ringi number because he or she has to enter that number when doing the actual expenditures authorized under the ringi.
What is written in a ringi is strictly controlled, both as to content and to sequence. If the requester makes a mistake in either, some administrator along the line will make the requester rewrite the ringi and get the signatures all over again.
稟議規定: Rules for formal approvals
稟議書: Request for formal approval/Application for formal
稟議事務: Storage and control of formal approval requests
稟議進達者: Person requesting formal approval
稟議審査: Screening of formal approval requests
電子稟議システム: Electronic formal approval system
稟議決裁: Formal approval (of policy or expenditure)
方針稟議: Policy setting ringi
実施稟議: Ringi approving expenditures
This entry was created by John Mackin.