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Statement by the Secretary General at a regular press conference (January 10, 2024)

Statement by the Secretary General at a regular press conference (January 10, 2024)

January 10, 2024
Japan Fair Trade Commission

(Budget, the organization and the number of officials of the JFTC in the final draft budget for FY 2024)

     Since the government's draft budget for FY 2024 was approved by the Cabinet on December 22 last year, I will explain the outline of the budget, the organization and the number of officials of the JFTC.

     The total amount of the draft budget for FY 2024 of the JFTC, including the one appropriated together by the Digital Agency's, is 12,188,000,000 yen, with an increase of approximately 699 million yen from the previous year's budget.
     Let me introduce some of main measures in detail.
     As for "Strengthening the control of acts that unfairly disadvantage small and medium-sized enterprises," we have decided to increase the number of part-time agents by 33 to approximately 100 in order to strictly address and thoroughly prevent the abuse of superior bargaining position.
     Next, 199 million yen has been appropriated for expenses for publicizing and raising awareness of the "Act on ensuring fair transactions involving freelance contractors," which will come into effect this fall, and for enhancing the consultation system. We will make every effort to facilitate price shifting by small and medium-sized enterprises with the expense included in the FY 2023 supplementary budget.
     Moreover, as for "Improving the competitive environment," we set aside 27 million yen for expenses necessary to strengthen our response to the digital sector, and, in " Reinforcement of Foundations for Operation of Competition Policy," we set aside 12 million yen for expenses related to strengthening economic analysis.
     Finally, I will talk about the organization and the number of officials. Regarding the organization, in order to strengthen our efforts to improve transactions, we will newly establish the Deputy Secretary General for Fair Transaction and the Fair Freelance Transaction Office. Also, we will establish the Senior Planning Officer for human resources strategy in the Personnel Division of the Secretariat to steadily respond to important issues of the JFTC from the perspective of human resources policy. As for the number of officials, we will further strengthen our institutional capability with the increase of 16 officials in total. As to the system of the Fair Freelance Transaction Office, we plan to start with 21 officials.
     With the budget and the structure mentioned above, the JFTC will continuously strive to improve a fair and free competitive environment.

(Tentative translation)