What is the Fair Trade Commission?
The Fair Trade Commission watches violations of the rules by companies through the enforcement of the Antimonopoly Act, for promoting fair and free economic activities and protecting consumers' benefits. The Fair Trade Commission consists of a total of five individuals: the Chairman appointed by the Prime Minister based on the approval of both Houses of the Diet, and four Commissioners. It perfoms as an independent authority, without external supervision or direction. As an organization based on a council system, which is typically called an "administrative commission," it is given the status of an external-organ of Cabinet Office in the national government organization.
As you can see in the above illustration, the Fair Trade Commission consists of the Chairman and four Commissioners. Under the commission, the General Secretariat is established for administration of its affairs, including case investigations and monitoring of compamies. The General Secretariat consists of the Secretariat, the Economic Affairs Bureau, the Investigation Bureau, the Trade Practices Department, the Criminal Investigation Department, the Local Office and Branch Offices.
The budget alloted to the Fair Trade Commission and the appointed personnel have been reinforced in response to the increasing importance of its roles. Currently, approximately 800 employees work at the Fair Trade Commission.