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Statement by the Secretary General at a regular press conference on Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Statement by the Secretary General at a regular press conference on Wednesday, September 27, 2023

September 27, 2023
Japan Fair Trade Commission

 Today, I would like to talk about the results of Policy Evaluation made in FY 2023 and our recent EBPM ("Evidence-Based Policy Making") initiatives.

 The JFTC conducted policy evaluation based on the Government Policy Evaluations Act with regard to the implementation of two policy measures: "Prompt and Accurate Merger Review" and "Strict actions against violations of the Antimonopoly Act". We published the evaluation report on September 7th.
 Regarding "Prompt and Accurate Merger Review," "Average Review Period" which is the activity indicator of the policy measure increased in FY 2020. However, it remained unchanged thereafter, and it decreased slightly in FY 2022. In other words, the Average Review Period was shortened. In addition, while "The Number of Accesses to the Major Business Combination Cases" posted on our website is used as the outcome indicator, it has remained generally steady though it varies from year to year.
 Regarding "Strict actions against violations of the Antimonopoly Act," in recent years, we have taken measures to deal with cases that have large impact on consumers’ life and that involve various fields for responding to social needs. With regard to these measures, we estimated the amount of consumer profits protected by the Cease and Desist Orders by seeing the market size of each case, etc. Although this is only approximate estimates for the four years of the period under review, the total amount of consumer profits protected through those measures was approximately 1 trillion Japanese yen. Also, we deal with cases of unjust low price sales in an average processing period of approximately 2 months and take prompt action.
    In light of this, we evaluated the above two measures as effective in maintaining and promoting fair and free competition.
   Next, I would like to talk about JFTC's EBPM initiatives. It refers to evidence-based policy making, which is promoted by the government as a whole. We implement it through law enforcement and advocacy measures. We have posted about four initiatives so far on our website, and most recently, we conducted a study to evaluate the effectiveness of past Cease and Desist Orders to prevent recurrence of similar violations, and published a report on June 28th of this year. In this report, we obtained suggestions that lead us to study more effective measures to prevent recurrence of violations. For example, we found that even small and medium-sized enterprises are not always unable to implement preventive measures that large enterprises implement. We will continue EBPM initiatives through these kinds of evaluation to accurately understand effects and issues of policies implemented by the JFTC which lead to improvements of the policies.
   We will appropriately continue implementing policy evaluation and EBPM initiatives, and strive to realize high-quality measures based on the results of these efforts.

(Tentative translation)