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Statement by the Secretary General at a regular press conference on Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Statement by the Secretary General at a regular press conference on Wednesday, October 18, 2023

October 18, 2023
Japan Fair Trade Commission

 (The 22nd ICN Annual Conference)

 Today, I would like to introduce the 22nd International Competition Network (ICN) Annual Conference. It is held in Barcelona, Spain from October 18th to 20th. Commissioner Aoki and other staff members of the JFTC are attending the conference.
  ICN was established in 2001 by 16 competition authorities in 14 jurisdictions, including Japan, to promote convergence of procedural and substantive aspects of competition law enforcement. As of the end of September 2023, it is the largest international organization of competition law area, with participation from 143 authorities from 132 jurisdictions. ICN is engaged in various projects by Working Groups such as Cartel, Unilateral Conduct, Merger, and Advocacy. Annual Conference is expected to foster international consensus on recent competition law and policy issues through the participation of the heads of member authorities.
 About 400 participants from about 100 countries, including competition authority officials and private practitioners, are expected to attend this year’s Annual Conference in person. Commissioner Aoki will serve as a speaker at the Plenary Session of the Unilateral Conduct Working Group, and the Heads of Agency Session in which the heads of competition authorities or their equivalents will participate. “Challenges around unilateral conduct cases” will be the topic of the former session. “Competition and Sustainability” will be discussed in the latter session. In addition, our staff members are contributing to the discussions as moderators or speakers in the Break Out Sessions of the Merger Working Group and the Advocacy Working Group, respectively.
   We will continue actively contributing to activities of the ICN for establishing international standards for enforcement activities, strengthening cooperation among competition authorities, and enhancing its international presence.

 (Winning of the 2023 ICN-WBG Competition Advocacy Contest)
 Next, I would like to report that the JFTC was selected as the “Winner” of the 2023 ICN-WBG Competition Advocacy Contest organized by the ICN and the World Bank Group.
 At the Competition Advocacy Contest, competition authorities from around the world submit examples of successful advocacy activities for several themes set by the organizers every year.  In each annual contest, four themes are set. “Winner” and “Honorable Mention” are chosen for each theme.
 Under the theme " Supporting the climate change agenda through competition policy," our submission titled "Supporting Green Transformation (GX) through comprehensive competition initiatives" describing ours efforts was selected as“Winner”. The award ceremony will be held at this year’s ICN Annual Conference, which I mentioned earlier.
 According to the reason for the award, the JFTC was recognized for its multi-pronged approach to the climate change issues, including the formulation of the Guidelines, reinforcement of efforts based on the prior consultation mechanisms, and implementation of market studies.
   We formulated the so-called “Green Guidelines” in March 2023 for promoting predictability for businesses. In order to promote GX initiatives by businesses, we have set up a specialized contact point for expanding our efforts to address their prior consultations and published relevant consultation cases. Further, we have conducted fact-finding surveys on key markets for realizing a green society including EV charging and plastic bottle recycling. It demonstrated that the Antimonopoly Act and competition policy can indirectly contribute to the realization of GX in markets closely related to reducing environmental impacts.
   It’s a great honor for us that our initiatives supporting GX have been highly evaluated internationally. We will continue to promote the realization of GX through this multi-pronged approach and will also disseminate our domestic initiatives overseas.
(Tentative translation)