Preventing harm to vulnerable consumers such as elderly consumers
In order to effectively prevent harm to vulnerable consumers, such as elderly consumers, to be victimized, it is critical for the local community to "watch over" those people in accordance of their circumstances.
Following a successful pilot project in 2013, the Consumer Affairs Agency provides local government 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 consumer consulting center staff
Consumer Affairs Centers and other consumer affairs consultation points of contact, which are located in each prefecture and municipality, stand by for consumer consultation. The number of consultation cases brought to contact points nationwide is approximately 1 million per year. They operate as the frontline of consumer affairs administration through services that include providing 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 each prefecture and municipality should be able to augment their consumer affairs administration by, for instance, establishing a new Consumer Affairs Center or expanding an existing one and training consumer affairs consultants.
First step in times of trouble: Consumer Hotline
The Consumer Affairs Agency operates a consumer Hotline "188".
The phone number is
Available in Japanese only
When you call to this number, the CAA will give you a contact to a Consumer Affairs Center or other consumer consultation contact points nearby. The CAA encourages to use the Consumer Hotline for those who do not know where to turn to for consultation on their consumption life issue.
Consumer Hotline for Tourists
The Consumer Hotline for Tourists offers telephone consultation that overseas visitors to Japan can use if they experience consumer issues while visiting Japan.
* Standard call rates to the call center will apply.
Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (closed weekends, national holidays, and Dec. 29 - Jan. 3)
English, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese
Issues that are covered
Consultations regarding consumer issues (issues involving purchases of merchandise, restaurants and bars, lodging, transportation) which tourists from overseas encounter while visiting Japan.