Consumer Affairs Agency, Government Of Japan
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White Paper on Consumer Affairs 2014 [Summary]

Introduction to the Consumer Affairs Agency and the White Paper on Consumer Affairs

The Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year. The CAA was established in September 2009 under the philosophy of “creating a new organization with strong authority for the unified and integrated promotion of consumer administration, which was vertically divided among different ministries and agencies,” and “gathering public opinions and complaints, reflecting them in government policies and steering the government toward consumer orientation.” Having started with 202 employees, the CAA has developed under the concept of “born small and grow big” to operate with 289 employees as of the end of FY 2013. Over these years, the CAA has been cooperating with related ministries and agencies, local governments, the National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan and consumer groups to set up the framework of consumer administration through efforts in various fields, including systematically developing government-wide consumer policies, creating fundamental systems associated with consumer life, ensuring consumer safety, taking action against dishonest businesses, eliminating inappropriate representations and advertisements, establishing food labeling rules, promoting consumer awareness and education, supporting local consumer administration efforts, and implementing price policies and policies to promote fair utility rates.

This document is the second issue of “White Paper on Consumer Affairs”; the first issue was created and published in FY 2013, following the revision of the Basic Consumer Act in 2012. Part 1 of this White Paper, entitled “Today’s Consumer Issues and Consumers’ Behavior/Attitude,” objectively summarizes and analyzes recently observed consumer harm and problems, based on consumer consultation data, awareness surveys and other information. Part 2, “Implementation of Consumer Policy,” shows efforts by the CAA and related ministries and agencies in different fields. Unlike previous years, in which the CAA compiled a separate “Report on the Results of Information Gathering and Analysis on Consumer Accidents” in accordance with the Consumer Safety Act, the CAA has decided to issue a single document combining the White Paper and the statutory report in order to provide reports more effectively.

Every issue of the White Paper on Consumer Affairs includes feature articles focusing on major up-to-date policy issues and providing their detailed analysis. The feature article in the previous issue was “Consumer Problems Faced by the Elderly,” reflecting that a growing number of the elderly are falling victims to fraudulent schemes targeting the elderly, such as “theatrical solicitation.” The latest issue contains two feature articles: the first is entitled “Food-Related Consumer Issues,” a topic chosen because food-related consumer problems attracted major public attention in FY 2013, and the second is about “Consumer Issues and Development of ICT,” which addresses the increase in consumer problems associated with information and communications technology (ICT), such as the Internet and mobile telephones, along with the advancement of information society.

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