Consumer Affairs Agency
|Formed||September 1, 2009|
|Headquarters||Sanno Park Tower 2-11-1 Nagatachō, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan 100-6178|
|Parent agency||Cabinet Office|
The Consumer Affairs Agency (消費者庁 shouhishachō) is an administrative agency of the Cabinet of Japan established on September 1, 2009 responsible for consumer protection.
Individual ministries had their own relevant departments, but after a number of scandals involving food poisoning and various types of accidents caused by substandard products manufactured in or imported to Japan, it was decided that an independent body was needed to protect the interests of consumers. Consumers often did not know where to report problems, and if they did, complaints were often passed around from place to place inside the bureaucracies. In addition, past administrative policies tended to focus more on the needs and interests of producers and industry, rather than consumers.
The original plans for the agency were made in January 2008 under the administration of Liberal Democratic Party Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, after a high-profile food poisoning case of Chinese dumplings. The bill to create the agency cleared the lower house of the Japanese diet unanimously on April 16, 2009, under the administration of Tarō Asō and with the cooperation of the then-opposition Democratic Party of Japan.
It was originally planned to open in October 2009 or later, but leading up to the 2009 election Prime Minister Aso bought forward the opening to September 1, 2009, two days after the election. As a consequence, the agency was not well-prepared and faced many initial challenges. Shunichi Uchida, a former vice-minister of the Cabinet Office, was appointed the first head of the agency.
- Consumer Affairs Agency About the Consumer Affairs Agency, page 3, 2010 Edition Retrieved on August 14, 2012
- The Japan Times Consumer affairs agency bills OK'd Retrieved on April 17, 2012
- The Japan Times Consumer Affairs boss underscores new, yet tenuous, role September 9 2009 Retrieved on August 14, 2012