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

Part 1 Today’s consumer issues and consumers’ behavior/attitude

Chapter 5 Development of consumer policy

Section 1 Major recent developments in consumer policy

Major recent developments in consumer policy

The framework for consumer administration has been expanded since the establishment of
the Consumer Affairs Agency. Under the framework, the Consumer Affairs Agency and
related ministries and agencies have been implementing various consumer policies. Since
individual policies are explained in Part 2, this section summarizes the recent major
development of consumer policy, mainly in FY 2013.

  • Promotion of consumer policy
    • - “Consumer Assurance Strategy” established (August 2013)
    • - Japan’s first statutory white paper on consumer policy, “White Paper on Consumer Affairs 2013,” published (June 2013)
  • Management of consumer accidents affecting the life and health of consumers
    • - Survey and evaluation of life or health-related accidents conducted by the Consumer Safety Investigation Commission (established in October 2012)
  • Response to financial losses caused by dishonest businesses
    • - Consumer Safety Act revised (August 2012) to provide for administrative measures for the “niche area cases” that cannot be addressed by any other law (implemented in April 2013)
    • - Discussions conducted for the implementation of the Act on Special Measures Concerning Civil Court Proceedings for the Collective Redress for Property Damage Incurred by Consumers (enacted in December 2013)
    • - Act to partially amend the Act against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations, etc. enacted (June 2014)
    • -Model project conducted to combat fraudulent telephone calls to elderly consumers (since September 2013)
    • - Surcharge system discussed under the Act against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations
  • Enhancement and reinforcement of local consumer administration
    • - Local Consumer Administration Vitalization Funds used to support establishment of local consumer affairs centers, employment and development of consumer affairs consultants, and consumer education and awareness raising
    • - The above funds increased by ¥3.7 billion with appropriations from the FY 2013 initial budget
    • - Legal position of qualification as consultants clarified (by the Consumer Safety Act revised under the Act to partially amend the Act against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations, etc.)
  • Promotion of consumer education
    • - Consumer Education Promotion Council formed and “Basic Policy on Promotion of Consumer Education” established in accordance with the Act on Promotion of Consumer Education enacted in August 2012 (June 2013)
  • Policies to promote fair utility rates
    • - Opinion exchange meetings held on applications for approval of electricity rate increases
  • Response to the consumption tax hike
    • - Trends in the prices of daily necessities surveyed to discourage attempts to raise prices taking advantage of the tax hike
    • -Measures implemented to ensure that the tax increase is appropriately passed along in accordance with the Act on Special Measures Concerning Proper Transfer of Consumption Tax (enacted in June 2013)

* Measures to address food-related problems (integrated food labeling, food and radiation, etc.) implemented as well (see Chapter 1 for details)

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