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JFTC to convene Study Group concerning Pay Nursing Home Representations

May 21/2003
Japan Fair Trade Commission

The Fair Trade Commission of Japan (JFTC)will convene a study group composed of specialists for the purpose of specifically examining the preparation of notification concerning designation based on the provisions of Section 4 paragraph 3 of the Premiums and Representations Act concerning misleading representations at pay nursing homes.

1 Outline

Because pay nursing home transactions involve the receipt of continuously provided services after a resident pays a large, lump-sum entry fee and moves into a nursing home, and it is extremely difficult for the residents' side to change the service provider or contents of the transaction once the nursing home operator has begun to provide services, it is extremely important that representations at point in time when individuals select a pay nursing home do not present a danger of causing consumer misunderstandings.
The Commission has worked for environmental changes to make representations more appropriate, including issuing warnings in 14 cases since 1997 against pay nursing home representations for possible violation of the Premium and Representations Act, and requesting related trade associations and others to take steps to make their members'representations more appropriate. Nevertheless, conditions whereby cases of misleading representations will not be eliminated in the future remain unchanged, as indicated when the Commission issued its first cease and desist order against three firms operating in the Chubu region on April 16, 2003 in a case of pay nursing home misleading representation.
In light of these circumstances, together with taking measures to prevent beforehand representations that may lead consumer misunderstanding regarding the contents of nursing care services at pay nursing homes, from the standpoint of dealing strictly with misleading representations the Commission has decided to convene a Study Group Concerning Pay Nursing Home Representations and conduct a detailed examination of matters such as the preparation of a notification which designates misleading representations at pay nursing homes, based on the provisions of Section 4 paragraph 3 of the Premiums and Representations Act.

2 Schedule

The Commission plans to hold the first discussion meeting on May 22, 2003, and proceed with discussions in order to reach a final conclusion by July.

*Every announcement is tentative translation. Please refer to the original text written in Japanese.



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