Modern Japanese mental health services have their beginning with the conclusion of World War II. The system of services has since changed at all levels. New laws affording fundamental rights to mental patients were initiated in 1950, but reforms are in process even today that continue down the path toward more enlightened and specialized care. Demographic data are presented including the number of patients and their characteristics, and the number and kinds of service providers. An outline of the administration of mental health services is provided with special emphasis on institutional care. Future trends are highlighted.