Staff writer

A delegation of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development will arrive in Tokyo next week to conduct its first detailed review of Japan’s progress on deregulation and other regulatory reforms, government officials said Wednesday.

The officials, who asked not to be named, said the delegation will stay in Japan for about a week and meet with officials from government ministries and agencies, including the Fair Trade Commission — the country’s antimonopoly watchdog. The OECD is a Paris-based body often dubbed the “club of the richest.”

Based on the mission’s findings, the OECD secretariat will compile a progress report on Japanese regulatory reforms for submission to an annual ministerial meeting of OECD member nations scheduled for next spring, the officials said.

At their annual meeting last May, the OECD ministers adopted a resolution on regulatory reforms calling for the elimination in principle of all regulations on economic activity. The resolution specifically recommended several policy principles for deregulation and other regulatory reforms in OECD member countries to help spur economic growth and promote international trade and investment.

The OECD had worked on the guidelines for two years following their proposal by Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, then international trade and industry minister, in 1995.

While finalizing the guidelines, the OECD ministers also decided to implement a detailed review of the progress on such reforms in member countries, beginning this year. “By enhancing competition, it (regulatory reform) can create new businesses and jobs, speed the diffusion of new technologies and business methods, enhance trade and investment opportunities, and reduce the scope of trade friction,” a statement issued at the end of the meeting said.

Japan is one of four OECD members to face review this year. The others are the United States, Mexico and the Netherlands.

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