ACCJ and EBC reiterate long-standing position regarding Japan Post
The American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) and the European Business Council (EBC) have strongly urged the Japanese government to abide by its international trade commitments under the World Trade Organization’s General Agreement on Trade in Services to ensure a level playing field between the Japan Post financial entities and private-sector companies before permitting Japan Post Bank and Japan Post Insurance (JPI) to offer new or modified products or services.
The call comes after last week’s announcement that Japan Post Bank and Japan Post Insurance have filed for government approval to offer new or modified products.
The ACCJ said in a statement that this could move Japan in the wrong direction, particularly at a time when efforts are underway regionally and globally to address the competitive impact of state-owned enterprises on the market.
The ACCJ and EBC said that failing to establish a level playing field and allowing JPB and JPI to expand their presence in the market as providers of banking and insurance services would introduce new risks into the system from a financial soundness perspective.
For example, allowing JPB to enter into higher-risk lending areas, as the application suggests, will not only harm competition, but also put the assets and capital of JPB at risk, the statement said. Given that Japan Post also engages in non-financial activities such as postal delivery, strict regulatory oversight and corporate governance should be assured, in addition to a level playing field, before any new or modified products or services are permitted.