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Press Release

April 27, 2012

Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications
Japan Fair Trade Commission

Revision of “Guidelines for Promotion of Competition in the Telecommunications Business Field

  The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) and the Japan Fair Trade Commission have revised the “Guidelines for Promotion of Competition in the Telecommunications Business Field in response to the revision of the Telecommunications Business Act and the report from the Information and Communications Council concerning the “State of Environment Maintenance for Promoting Broadband Dissemination” and it is officially announced herein.

1.Background of revision

  In November 2001, the MIC and the Japan Fair Trade Commission formulated and officially announced the “Guidelines for Promotion of Competition in the Telecommunications Business Field” (hereinafter referred to as the “Joint Guidelines”) stipulating their basic views on the Telecommunications Business Act (Act No.86 of December 25, 1984) and the Antimonopoly Act (Act No.54 of 1947), problematic acts, etc. from the perspective of promoting competition in the telecommunications business field, and have revised it successively since then.
  The MIC has held the “Task Force on ICT Policy in the Global Era” since October 2009 and made deliberations toward the realization of “Path of Light” aiming at the realization of the use of broadband in all households. Based on these deliberations, Article 31 of the Telecommunications Business Act was partially revised by the Act for Partial Revision of the Telecommunications Business Act and the Act Concerning Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation, Etc. (Act No.58 of 2011) enacted in the 177th Diet session. Along with this revision, the Regulations for Enforcement of the Telecommunications Business Act (Ministerial Ordinance of MPT No. 25 of 1985) were partially revised. According to these revisions, telecommunications carriers that establish category I designated telecommunications facilities shall implement system maintenance for proper management, etc. of information that come to their knowledge in the course of connecting services and other necessary measures as well as exercise necessary and proper supervision over entrusted subsidiary companies, etc. Therefore, it is necessary to reflect the content of these revisions in the Joint Guidelines.
  In addition, after deliberations by the Task Force, an inquiry was submitted to the Information and Communications Council (Chairman: Takuma Otoshi, Chairman of Board of Directors at Japan IBM) concerning “State of Environment Maintenance for Promoting Broadband Dissemination.” The MIC has received a report stating that deliberations should be made on whether or not there is a room for further transparency by reviewing the Joint Guidelines in a way that excessive chilling effects are exercised over business operators subject to the regulations for prohibited acts prescribed in Article 30 of the Telecommunications Business Act with regard to the promotion of competition in the mobile market.
  In view of these circumstances, the MIC has compiled a draft revision of the Joint Guidelines and held an appeal for opinions from February 18 to March 19, 2012. Eight opinions were submitted in response to this appeal.
  The MIC and the Japan Fair Trade Commission have revised the Joint Guidelines based on the opinions submitted, etc. and they are officially announced herein.
 

2.Future plans

  The MIC and the Japan Fair Trade Commission start to operate the revised Joint Guidelines on April 27, 2012 and will flexibly review the Joint Guidelines when needed from the perspective of further promoting environment maintenance of fair competition in the future.
 
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For further information about this press release, please fill in the inquiry form and submit it to MIC on the website
https://www.soumu.go.jp/common/english_opinions.html

International Policy Division,
Global ICT Strategy Bureau, MIC
TEL: +81 3 5253 5920 / FAX: +81 3 5253 5924

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