Japan’s Antimonopoly Act (the AMA) was recently amended so as to adopt a wider and deeper scope for the surcharge system, a leniency program, and the authority to investigate criminal cases as measures to strengthen enforcement.
At the same time, the TPP (which has been largely agreed upon) includes a provision which introduces a so-called “commitment” program in which corporations voluntarily address problems following agreements with the “national competition authority”. (This is the terminology used in the TPP.) Discussion about how to implement this feature of the TPP is now underway in Japan’s Fair Trade Commission (the JFTC). Moreover, the JFTC has shown showed interest in commencing discussions this year concerning a discretionary surcharge system. As if that was not enough, it seems that the AMA will soon be substantially amended again. Japan’s “national competition authority” is changing its views, and discussions within it are being influenced by enforcement practices in foreign countries.