National

Japan's Consumer Affairs Agency cancels plan to fully relocate to Tokushima

JIJI

The government will shelve a plan to relocate all of the functions of the Consumer Affairs Agency to Tokushima Prefecture, according to sources.

After accepting a proposal from the Tokushima Prefectural Government, the agency opened a pilot office in the city of Tokushima in 2017 and was considering a full move.

But the agency concluded that transferring all functions would cause too many problems, the sources said Monday.

Officials at the agency now hope to make the Tokushima office a permanent base in fiscal 2020 to study and improve consumer policies.

In a report compiled in May, a research committee under the Cabinet Office’s Consumer Commission said that the office was functioning as a base for empirical research.

Following the report, the central government stated in its new strategy for revitalizing regional economies, approved at a Cabinet meeting in June, that it would keep the office as a permanent facility and strengthen its functions.

However, the agency concluded that relocating all operations away from Tokyo would make it difficult to respond to Diet deliberations or manage crisis responses to health hazards caused by products, the sources said.

The central government has been trying to reduce the excessive concentration of ministries and agencies in Tokyo.

In the only large-scale relocation so far, the Cultural Affairs Agency has decided it will leave some functions in Tokyo and transfer the majority of its business to the city of Kyoto by fiscal 2021.

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