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Canada is satisfied with the improved access to Japan’s construction and housing sectors, but other sectors are still rigid, departing Canadian Ambassador Donald Campbell said July 24.

“I think we have achieved a considerable amount of success” in the construction and housing sectors, Campbell told a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan. “I do think that some credit should be given to progress that has been made.

“I think it is in the interest of Japan to pursue even more vigorously the broader areas of administrative reform and deregulation,” he said. The Japanese housing market is attractive for Canada because there are about 1.5 million housing starts in Japan a year, 300,000 more than in the United States, he said.

But Campbell also said that Canada has achieved “considerably less success” in the fields of agriculture and food products, which are major Canadian export products. Campbell, who has been in Japan for 4 1/2 years, will become deputy foreign minister after leaving Japan.

He said that he is closely watching the deregulation of the financial sector because Japan’s regulatory measures have forced foreign financial institutions including Canadian ones to set up operations elsewhere. “We hope they might come back,” following the Japanese efforts in the “Big Bang” financial sector reform, he said.

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