Office of the United States Trade Representative


USTR Schwab Calls on Japan to Accelerate Economic Reform
U.S. Submits Annual Regulatory Reform Recommendations 12/05/2006

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States today presented comprehensive reform recommendations to the Japanese Government that urge further improvements in Japan’s business environment and new market opportunities for U.S. exporters and companies seeking to do business in Japan.

U.S. - Japan Regulatory Reform Initiative includes detailed recommendations for Japan to strengthen regulatory transparency and predictability, facilitate cross-border triangular mergers, improve access to life-saving medical devices and drugs, and strengthen intellectual property protection through bilateral cooperation and domestic reforms.  The recommendations also call on Japan to undertake reforms to Japan Post that will level the playing field in Japan

Japan is a valued U.S. trading partner.  Our trade relationship will benefit from Japan adopting international best practices and reforms to create more vibrant markets and enlarge long-term economic opportunities,” said U.S. Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab.  “We look forward to Japan’s continuing commitment to economic reform at all levels.”

This year’s report – part of an annual exchange under the U.S.-Japan Regulatory Reform and Competition Policy Initiative (Regulatory Reform Initiative) – also recommends improvements in other key sectors – including financial services, agriculture, commercial law, telecommunications, distribution, and information technologies.

The recommendations were exchanged in Tokyo by Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Karan Bhatia and Deputy Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka, co-chairs of the Initiative.


The Regulatory Reform Initiative was established under the 2001 U.S. - Japan Economic Partnership for Growth as a key forum to promote economic growth through improvements in domestic regulatory regimes. 

Both governments will consider the recommendations through working-level and high-level meetings.  Progress is documented annually in the Initiative’s Report to the Leaders. 

USTR leads the Initiative for the U.S. government, while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs takes the lead for the Japanese government.

The U.S. recommendations are outlined in an executive summary which, along with the detailed recommendations, is available here.

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