Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Reinvigoration of Regulatory Reform in Japan

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

USTR has called for Reinvigoration of Regulatory Reform in Japan as part of the U.S.-Japan Regulatory Reform and Competition Policy Initiative.  Specific highlights of Japanese accomplishments include:

  • Liberalizing the sale of insurance products through banks, thereby enabling insurance providers to improve convenience and choice for consumers;
  • Hiring more staff to review product applications for new medical devices and pharmaceuticals and giving candidates more opportunities to discuss their applications with regulators, helping to further reduce delays in bringing medical products to market in Japan;
  • Eliminating overtime service charges and streamlining customs clearance procedures, thus making the customs declaration process more efficient;
  • Approving new food additives for use in Japan that are already accepted throughout the world, facilitating further trade in safe agricultural products and processed food;
  • Affirming that equivalent conditions of competition should always be ensured in expanding the business scope of Japan’s postal financial institutions;
  • Agreeing to eliminate mobile handset subsidies that Japan's dominant mobile phone carrier has sought to recover from interconnecting operators, which should help reduce high mobile termination rates that have impeded competition;
  • Committing to review comprehensively in FY2008 the administrative examination system of Japan's competition policy body with a view to ensuring procedural fairness; and

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