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Statement by the Secretary General at a regular press conference on Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Statement by the Secretary General at a regular press conference on Wednesday, July 19, 2023

July 19, 2023
Japan Fair Trade Commission

(Summary of the proceedings of the 224th Antimonopoly Meeting)

  Today, I would like to talk about the summary of the 224th Antimonopoly Meeting held on June 23 this year.

  In order to effectively and appropriately promote competition policy in response to changes in our country's economy, the Antimonopoly Meeting has been held since November 1968 by JFTC with the aim of listening to the views of all segments of the public and deepening their understanding of the implementation of the Antimonopoly Act.
  This time, we received opinions from the Meeting members (referred as "members" thereafter) on four themes, and the main opinions on each theme are as follows.
  First theme is "Guidelines Concerning the Activities of Enterprises, etc. Toward the Realization of a Green Society Under the Antimonopoly Act." Members pointed out as large companies are proceeding with GX initiatives, many people have pointed out that they are concerned about the influence on small and medium-sized subcontractors, etc. In response, JFTC stated the Green Guidelines are unprecedented in the world in that they cover vertical relationships in addition to joint efforts among competitors with horizontal relationships, and JFTC would like to continue to firmly address the issues you pointed out.
Second theme is " Act on ensuring fair transactions involving freelance contractors." Members raised questions that in case a platform operator, who apparently contracts with freelancer directly, is only intermediated between an orderer and a freelancer, is the platform operator not regulated by the Act? In response, we explained that even the contract in dispute is based on mediation, we will make a judgment based on the actual situation and will not immediately fall outside the scope of the Act.
     Third theme is "Enforcement of the Subcontract Act in FY 2022 and Initiatives for the Transaction Fairness for SMEs." According to members, they have heard positive voices from the orderer side about price shifting recently, indicating a change of consciousness. However, some SMEs expressed concern that if they consult with JFTC about it, they will be disadvantaged by the identification of what they have consulted. In response, we explained that we would like to consult with them first because we are considering various aspects of how to conduct an investigation so that the operator will not be identified and we have the know-how.
    Last theme is "Enforcement of the AMA in FY 2022," With regard to the cartel cases involving former general electric utilities, we received opinions that it is very important that JFTC’s competition policy be widely realized through cooperation between JFTC and relevant authorities. In response, we explained that JFTC is particularly focusing on areas of regulatory reform, such as the electric power sector, and that we would like to continue to respond positively in cooperation with regulatory agencies as necessary.
 JFTC will continue to promote competition policy effectively and appropriately based on the opinions above.

(Tentative translation)