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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 November 28 - December 4  > What is ‘Annual U.S. Reform Recommendations’ all about?
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2007 November 28 - December 4 [ECONOMY]

What is ‘Annual U.S. Reform Recommendations’ all about?

November 21, 2007
The “Annual U.S. Reform Recommendations,” a detailed list of U.S. demands that the U.S. government presents every fall to the Japanese government, symbolically illustrates Japan’s aberrant subordination to the United States in the economic field.

After receiving it from the U.S. in fall, the government distributes those “recommendations” to related ministries and agencies. They draw out measures to meet the U.S. demands and carry them out. Progress of their work is regularly checked by officials of both governments.

Then in March, the U.S. government compiles all results of Japan’s economic reform into the annual “National Trade Estimate Report on Foreign Trade Barriers,” and submits it to the U.S. Congress. The report points out the achievements the U.S. government has made in breaking Japanese “trade barriers.”

This boss-subordinate structure like the U.S.-Japan relationship was established in 1993 between U.S. President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Miyazawa Kiichi.

The controversial privatization of Japan’s postal services was also demanded by the U.S. in its “Recommendations.”

This year’s “Recommendations,” issued on October 18, demands continued implementation of “structural reform” policies. Specific items include opening of the market of medical equipment and medicine, removing all restrictions by December on selling insurance products at bank windows, and reducing physical distribution costs.

In items related to postal services, the U.S. demands that Japan set the same tax and regulatory standards on Japan Post’s banking and insurance services as private companies.

“The United States continues to take great interest in Japan’s effort to privatize and reform Japan Post,” stated the “U.S. Recommendations.”
- Akahata, November 21, 2007
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