Consumer Affairs Agency, Government Of Japan
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White Paper on Consumer Affairs 2015 [Summary]

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

Chapter 4 Development of consumer policy

Section 1 Promoting consumer policies for the future
Section 2 Major developments in consumer policy

Implementing consumer policy, including the establishment of the Third Basic Consumer Plan
  • Japan’s 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, Chapter 4 of Part 1 summarizes the recent major development of consumer policy, mainly in FY 2014.
  • ○Establishment of the Third Basic Consumer Plan
    • The Cabinet approved the Third Basic Consumer Plan, which draws up the vision of Japan’s consumer policy for the next five years.
      (Established on March 24, 2015 for implementation in FYs 2015-2019)
  • ○Measures to prevent misleading representations
    • Misrepresentation of food in menus was discovered at one place after another among hotels and restaurants in FY 2013.
    • Following a series of misrepresentation problems, the Act against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations was amended to add requirements for businesses, such as the establishment of compliance systems (promulgated in June 2014 and implemented in December).
    • The Act against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations was amended again to introduce a surcharge system (promulgated in November 2014).
  • ○Review of the food labeling system
    • Integration of food labeling into a single system under the Food Labeling Act (implemented in April 2015)
    • Launch of a new function labeling system for food (Food with Function Claims) (implemented in April 2015).
  • ○Collection and dissemination of information on child accidents
    • Activities to prevent child accidents (increasing recognition of the Consumer Product Safety Act, awareness raising, etc.)
  • ○Causal investigation of accidents by the Consumer Safety Investigation Commission
    • Release of three reports (FY 2014)
  • ○Promotion of consumer education
    • Finalization of discussion by the Consumer Education Promotion Council (March 2015) (Consumer Citizenship Development Subcommittee, Information Utilization Enhancement Subcommittee, and Regional Collaboration Promotion Subcommittee)
  • ○Utility rate policies
    • Opinion exchange meetings to discuss applications for approval of electricity rate increases
  • ○Response to the consumption tax hike
    • Surveys of trends in the prices of daily necessities (price monitoring every other month)
    • 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 (implemented in October 2013)
  • ○Risk communication
    • Risk communication aimed at disseminating the understanding of food and radiation
    • Information provision and risk communication on radioactive material in food, and awareness surveys (twice a year)
  • ○Enhancement and reinforcement of local consumer administration
    • Amendment of the Consumer Safety Act (promulgated in June 2014), construction of regional networks for watching over elderly consumers, and establishment of consumer affairs consultant qualification system (not yet implemented)

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