Regulation is a most basic function and tool of government and a large number of people are engaged in regulatory activities. For this reason, regulations and regulatory administration has been an important subject of administration reform in Japan. The paper reviews the reform efforts in Japan in the last three decades and highlights how in the Japanese case a regulatory administration took shape. After reviewing how public regulation is understood in Japan, the paper discusses the objectives, the targets and the contents of the regulatory reform, its methods and the current systems of the regulatory reform management. The last part of the paper is dedicated to the regulatory reform activities undertaken by the new government who came to power for the first time in 2009. Based on the review that it carries out, the paper draws attention to the decision making process, the gradualism and other features characteristic to the reform process in Japan, and it argues for the necessity of a change in the mind-set of those concerned.