January 19, 2005
Fair Trade Commission
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Since the launching of the negotiations towards conclusion of a cooperation agreement in the competition field was announced in November 2002, the Governments of Japan and Canada have held several rounds of negotiations, and as a result have reached agreement in principle on the major elements of a draft agreement.
As internationalization of business activities progressed in recent years, there have been a growing number of cases where the violation of competition laws of multiple countries becomes the issue or the enforcement activities by the competition authority of one country affect the interests of other countries. In order to address such issues, it has become increasingly necessary to internationalize the enforcement activities and to strengthen cooperation among competition authorities.
Under these circumstances, bilateral agreements concerning cooperation in the field of competition have been concluded between countries such as the United States, the European Community and Canada. On its part, Japan concluded cooperation agreements on anti-competitive activities with the United States in October 1999 and the European Community in July 2003 respectively. The Government of Japan considers it necessary to conclude a similar type of agreement with the Government of Canada as well, in view of close economic relations the two countries enjoy.
2.Contents of the draft agreement
The draft agreement includes the following elements.
The competition authorities of the parties notify each other of the enforcement activities that one party considers may affect the important interests of the other party.
Competition authority of each party renders assistance to the other to the extent consistent with the former’s laws and regulations as well as important interests.
When the competition authorities of both parties pursue enforcement activities with regard to mutually related matters, they consider coordination of the activities.
(4)Request for enforcement activities ("positive comity")
If the competition authority of one party believes that anti-competitive activities carried out in the territory of the other party adversely affect the important interests of the former party, it may request the other party's competition authority to initiate appropriate enforcement activities.
(5)Consideration of important interests ("negative comity")
Each party gives careful consideration to the important interests of the other party throughout all phases of its enforcement activities.
The agreement is, once concluded, particularly expected to:
(1)strengthen the enforcement of both parties'?Ecompetition laws for international anticompetitive activities;
(2)further develop cooperation between the competition authorities of Japan and Canada; and
(3)avoid conflicts concerning extraterritorial execution of jurisdiction of both parties'competition laws.