Joint Statement 37th Annual Japan – U.S. Business Conference
July 11, 2000 Tokyo, Japan
The 37th Annual Japan-U.S. Business Conference was held with 90 Japanese and U.S. business leaders in attendance from the Japan-U.S. and U.S.-Japan Business Councils (hereafter the “Councils”). A broad range of issues concerning U.S.-Japan economic relations were discussed.
This statement strongly affirms delegates’ belief in competition-based, market-driven economic growth that, in an increasingly global economy, depends on common rules and mechanisms to enforce these rules.
Delegates confirmed the shift in Council activities: from a focus on trade issues to competition; from an emphasis on dialogue and consensus to action and working to effect change – jointly and unilaterally; and to a more direct dialogue with Japanese and U.S. policymakers.
- 1. Japanese Economy
- Both Councils recognize that while the Japanese economy is showing signs of improvement, it is essential that fundamental structural reforms are undertaken as soon as possible to ensure that a self-sustaining consumer-demand led recovery takes hold.
For this to happen, public and private efforts will be critical, including the improvement of distribution systems, promoting regulatory reform to increase efficiency and revitalize industries, increasing transparency, labor mobility, and developing new industries, technology and businesses – especially Information Technology (IT) and venture businesses.
- 2. U.S. Economy
- Both Councils agreed that IT has spurred the development of the New Economy in the U.S. and that the continued strong economic expansion in the U.S. has played a major role in sustaining and stabilizing the world economy. Both Councils hope that U.S. authorities will continue to implement appropriate policies to avoid concerns regarding the possibility of a hard-landing.
- 3. Further Structural Reform and Deregulation
- Recognizing the importance of deregulation and structural reform, the U.S. and Japanese governments initiated the U.S.-Japan Enhanced Initiative on Deregulation and Competition Policy in 1997. Over the past three years, significant progress has been made under this initiative. Moreover, this initiative has been a constructive mechanism for channeling bilateral trade issues into a mutually beneficial framework.
The Councils therefore strongly urge the U.S. and Japanese governments to continue their joint work on deregulation and competition policy under a continuation of the U.S.-Japan Enhanced Initiative on Deregulation and Competition Policy.
- 4. U.S.-Japan Tax Treaty
- Both Councils agreed to urge their respective governments to renegotiate the 1971 U.S.-Japan Tax Treaty. In an age of globalization and electronic commerce, renegotiation is essential.
The Councils recommend formal negotiations to update the treaty as soon as possible during the next Japanese fiscal year, which begins on April 1, 2001.
- 5. Enhanced Competition in Telecommunications
- Both Councils endorse a substantial and prompt reduction in interconnection rates in Japan. The Councils recognize that cheaper telecommunication charges enhance the development of IT. This would provide significant benefits to the Japanese and other economies, businesses, and consumers.
Both Councils also recognize the importance of developing a competitive market in all aspects of local telecommunications services in both countries. This will provide lower prices for all users of telecommunications.
- 6. Pension Reform
- The Government of Japan is taking important initial steps in the ongoing area of pension reform. The Councils urge the government to continue this process in order to establish a sustainable pension system that meets the needs of an aging Japanese society.
The Councils agreed to establish a study group as soon as possible to define issues of mutual interest and to recommend actions to be taken.
- 7. Financial Services Reform
- While recognizing the substantial progress in deregulating financial services, it is important for the Councils to continue to discuss further liberalization concerning the regulation of banking, securities and insurance products.
- 8. Automotive Industry Talks
- It was agreed industry to industry auto talks should continue. The U.S. Council recommends that a renewal of the current agreement would provide the appropriate framework for these talks.
- 9. E-Commerce and Cybersecurity
- Both Councils reviewed the policy developments promoting E-commerce over the past year. Both Councils reaffirmed a framework of industry-led, market driven self regulatory efforts with minimal new government legislation or regulation as most conducive to growth.
Both Councils agreed to issue a joint statement (attached) highlighting the cybercrime threat and the necessity for industry in partnership with government to develop mechanisms to share information about cyber threats and best practices.
- 10. Credit Card Fraud
- Both Councils appreciate the Japanese government’s proactive efforts over the past year in addressing the growing problem of credit card fraud in Japan. The Councils encourage the Japanese government to continue its efforts, particularly in terms of revising the overall legal framework for combating card fraud.
Considering the international nature of the crime, the Councils also urge the Japanese government to strengthen the system of cooperation with other governments in combating card fraud.
- 11. Business Aircraft
- Both Councils recognize that Japan lags behind most other countries in its policies and practices toward business aviation. Procedures for securing operating slots at Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) and New Tokyo International Airport (Narita) are very complicated, and advance notice requirements need to be reduced.
Further, Japan should aim at establishing a hub airport, and the Councils recommend allowing access to Haneda for international, as well as domestic business aircraft on a similar basis as other international airports around the world, while making additional improvements at Narita.
- 12. Business Process Patents
- Both Councils understand that discussions are ongoing among Patent Offices of the U.S., Japan, and EU relative to the impact that business process patents might have upon the innovation, evolution, and development of E-commerce.
The Councils encourage governments to continue such discussions within the context of national laws and international obligations in order to help ensure the sound growth of electronic commerce.
- 13. Electronic Government
- The IT revolution provides opportunities for strengthening economies and transforming business institutions. The Councils recognize that governments can play a positive and significant role in facilitating the growth of E-commerce.
Accordingly, the Councils encourage their respective governments to be early adopters of IT within the agencies of government and to pursue public policies, such as deregulation, which will help ensure that all their citizens will be the beneficiaries of an open, efficient, and “user-friendly” “E-Government.”
- 14. WTO
- Both Councils urge the early launch of the new round of WTO negotiations. The Councils support and offer their assistance in the dialogue of services currently being conducted by the Coalition of Service Industries (U.S.), Japan Services Network, and the European Services Forum.
- 15. Dumping and Sanctions
- The issues of dumping and sanctions were discussed, and both Councils agreed to continue discussions to ensure fair competition and open markets.
- 16. Bilateral Trade and Investment
- While continuing our focus on the ongoing activities between the U.S. and Japan promoting deregulation and open trade, recognizing that increased trade and investment is in our mutual interest, the leadership of both Councils will look at options to expand trade and investment between the two countries.
・Cybersecurity and Cybercrime