Prior to the JKA's founding, keirin races were overseen by the Nihon Jitensha Shinkōkai (日本自転車振興会?, lit. Japan Bicycle Promotion Association), or Japan Keirin Association, often abbreviated NJS. Today the present JKA is responsible for fostering Japan's bicycle industry and regulating keirin racing in Japan.
In addition to licensing keirin racers, the association sets specifications for frames and parts such as wheel size, spoke count, frame geometry, and even weight and material of components. These requirements were established in 1957 in an attempt to prevent any racers from having equipment-related advantages.
Because the foundation's main objective is supporting the Japanese cycling market, its bureaucracy is notoriously critical of foreign manufacturers attempting to enter the Japanese market. The Italian cycling equipment manufacturer Campagnolo has, though, received keirin racing certification.
A common misconception regarding certification is that it is a mark of quality, when in fact it is simply a mark of standardization; parts stamped with the NJS logo have become fashionable in recent years with some Western cyclists.
All this careful design work to make a logo that's usually no more than 5mm across.