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Consumer Education and Local Cooperation

Advancing consumer education

The intention behind consumer education is to guide consumers so that they can acquire knowledge and skills associated with their consumption life and link them to appropriate behavior so as to develop abilities to lead a safe and prosperous consumption life on their own. Consumer education also has an aspect as an activity of fostering people capable of coming forward to join in the formation of a society with consumer-citizenship and contribute to its growth.
In December 2012, the Act on Promotion of Consumer Education came into force for the purpose of promoting consumer education in a comprehensive and integrated fashion.
The "Basic Policy on the Promotion of Consumer Education"(June 2013 cabinet decision), which was developed pursuant to this Act, states that the national government and local governments should provide opportunities so that anyone, regardless of where he/she lives, can access consumer education in various settings, including school, home, community and workplace, throughout a lifetime from young age to senior.

Preventing harm to vulnerable consumers like seniors

In order to effectively prevent harm to vulnerable consumers, such as seniors, to be victimized, it is critical for the local community to "watch over" those people in accordance of their circumstances.
The Consumer Affairs Agency succeeded in dramatically reducing the number of wrongful telemarketing incidents in FY2013 by carrying out model projects, etc. that involved, for instance, vigilance for seniors over phone calls and/or introduction of recording device in their landline phones.
Further still, we provide local governments, etc. with case examples of leading actions, audiovisual materials and other tools for the people who participate in such vigilance tasks.
The audiovisual materials are also available from the following:

Supporting the frontline of consumer affairs administration

Consumer affairs Centers and other Consumer affairs consultation points of contact, which are located in respective prefectures and municipalities, stand by to be consulted by consumers. The number of consultation cases brought to contact points nationwide is approximately 950,000 per year (FY2012). They operate as the frontline of consumer affairs administration through services that include supplying information and offering advice to consulters, or performing an agent function to work on a possible solution by buffering between the consulter and the business.
The Consumer Affairs Agency provides financial assistance so that respective prefectures and municipalities should be able to augment their consumer affairs administration by, for instance, establishing a new Consumer Affairs Center or expanding an existing one and developing consumer affairs consultants.

First step in times of trouble: Consumer Hotline

The Consumer Commission was established on September 1, 2009 together with the Consumer Affairs Agency. Having a highly transparent structure that allows voices of consumers to reach it directly, it operates as an independent, third-party organization with the function to monitor the overall consumer affairs administration by the respective ministries and agencies, including the Consumer Affairs Agency.

The phone number is
188
Only Japanese is supported

When you call to this number, we will give you a contact to a Consumer Affairs Center or other consumer consultation contact point nearby. We encourage to use the Consumer Hotline for those who do not know where to turn to for consultation on their consumption life issue.