"Japan's Consumer Administration," Briefing by Minister of State Seiko Noda





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Published on Jul 26, 2010

Foreign Press Center Japan

June 15, 2009 【Minister of State Seiko Noda "Japan's Consumer Administration"】

On May 29, 2009, three bills related to the new Consumer Agency were approved in the Japanese Diet. As it is noteworthy to see how Japan's consumer administration will be developed, FPCJ conducted a press briefing on Japan's consumer administration, inviting Ms. Seiko Noda, Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy, Food Safety, and Minister of Consumer Affairs (Aso Cabinet). This briefing was attended by a total of 36 people including journalists from 11 countries/areas.

Considering the fact that Japan's administrative system has focused on the interests of the production side for a long time, which has caused the compartmentalized consumer administration, Minister Noda explained that the Consumer Agency to be established will be a "completely new organization which stands on the side of consumers and protects their interests". She described the significance of its establishment as a "great reform, the like of which we have not seen for 40 years since the establishment of the Environment Agency".

The Minister also said that the government would take active fiscal measures, including the grant of a total of 26 billion yen in about the next three years, to vitalize the local consumer administration. She also spoke of a plan to increase the convenience of counseling counters by redefining consumer service centers and national consumer affairs centers all over the country as one unified counseling center for consumers and by creating one common telephone number for it.

In Q&A, there were exchanges on the Minister's working conditions as well as the topic of whether the establishment of the Consumer Agency will affect companies/business or not. This was because Minister Noda is uniquely in charge of 21 different areas from consumer administration and food safety to science and technology policy and space policy.

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