Policy Proposals Business Law Keidanren Proposes Again Seeking More Proper Due Process in the Investigation by Japan Fair Trade Commission
A study group of the Cabinet Office is reviewing due process protection of the investigation by the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC), in response to the supplementary provisions of the law to amend the Antimonopoly Act (hereinafter, AMA) enacted in December last year.
We, Keidanren has thus far repeatedly called for more proper due process protection should be provided during the investigation by the JFTC. Today, once again, we proposed to review the investigation procedure to ensure the right to defend oneself against the strengthened JFTC's enforcement, and to secure the international equal footing. The following are the four main points of our proposal.
First is to ensure due process in the procedures concerning on-site inspections. When conducting on-site inspections, the JFTC should clearly notify the scope of inspection and the inspectors' authority and allow lawyers of the investigated company to be present. Concerning evidence to be submitted to the JFTC, it should be stipulated in AMA that copies can be made prior to submission. In addition, questioning on the day of the on-site inspection should be conducted in a way that sufficiently takes into consideration the need for an in-house survey.
Second is to ensure due process in the procedures of taking the oral statement. It should be stipulated in AMA that a lawyer can be present during the procedures and that a copy of documented statement should be issued to the person who made the oral statement. In addition, it should be stipulated that a person who is being investigated has the right to remain silent.
Third is that the attorney-client privilege should be stipulated in AMA.
Fourth is to improve the procedures for hearing of opinions. In the recent AMA revision, it became possible to inspect the evidence submitted by other companies involved in the case as well as records of statements taken from employees of such companies. We propose it should also allow making copies of such evidence and records. In addition, procedures must be implemented that ensures the accuracy of the content of records and reports made up by the JFTC secretariat. The JFTC's manual should also be made public. The procedures for issuing warnings should also be reviewed.