Document Type



Forthcoming in University of Washington Press, 2005


Many reasons have been given for weak antitrust enforcement in Japan. In this paper we explore one reason that has been overlooked--the concentration of enforcement authority in Japan's Fair Trade Commission.

The paper begins with a description of Japan's antitrust enforcement system, with a particular focus on the current position and activities of the JFTC. We then compare Japan's system to the antitrust enforcement system that has evolved in the United States, primarily to provide the contrast of a system where enforcement is more deconcentrated and enforcers operate in a networked environment rather than in a hierarchical one. We conclude with three suggestions for opening up antitrust enforcement in Japan: increase the networking of the JFTC and other ministries regarding competition matters; strengthen the support structure for private litigation; and encourage the JFTC to participate fully in the growing internationalization of antitrust enforcement.

Date of Authorship for this Version

January 2005


law and economics