June 17 2005
The Government of Japan today submitted its conditional revised offer to the WTO Secretariat. This offer is based on the request-offer negotiations undertaken on a bilateral basis as well as the on-going discussions that have been made on various occasions. This offer was also developed taking into full account the interests of developing countries. It also does not have any a priori exclusion regarding sectors and modes of supply.
The Government of Japan expects that WTO Members will submit revised offers which achieve a higher level of liberalization and a higher degree of transparency and clarity, based on initial and revised requests presented by Japan and the discussions made so far in the Council for Trade in Services.
Japan has also offered new commitments in the Audiovisual services sector amid the on-going negotiations in UNESCO of the Cultural Diversity Convention. Japan is of the firm view that increased cultural exchange is the best way to promote cultural diversity, and hope that other WTO Members will reciprocate accordingly.
This paper will explain major points of improvement in this revised offer.
A. HORIZONTAL COMMITMENTS
Japan has enhanced both liberalization and comparability on the scheduled commitments regarding the entry and temporary stay.
1. Common Categories
Taking into account the communication from Bulgaria, Canada, the European Communities and Romania (TN/S/W/32) and the communication from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, India, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Thailand and Uruguay (TN/S/W/31), Japan improved comparability and clarity in the scheduled commitments on the entry and temporary stay of a natural person by using common categories such as "intra-corporate transferees," "independent professionals," "business visitors" and "contractual service suppliers" and common sub-categories such as "executives," "senior managers" and "specialists." The category d) in the revised offer covers the movement of a natural person based on a contract between a juridical person in Japan and a natural person, and does not cover contracts between juridical persons in Japan and the sending country.
2. Addition of new service suppliers in the category of Independent Professionals
In the category of Independent Professionals, Japan is offering commitments on the following four new service suppliers;
(i) A juridical scrivener qualified as "Shiho-Shoshi" under Japanese law
(ii) An administrative scrivener qualified as "Gyosei-Shoshi" under Japanese law
(iii) A certified social insurance and labour consultant qualified as "Shakai-Hoken-Romushi" under Japanese law
(iv) A land and house surveyor qualified as "Tochi-Kaoku-Chosashi" under Japanese law
3. Greater certainty in the category of Contractual Service Suppliers (natural person)
In its initial offer, Japan offered a new category d) concerning specialists in natural sciences and humanities/international services. However, some WTO Members indicated that it is not clear as to which service sectors this category applies to. In response to these comments, Japan has clarified in a footnote several typical service sectors or sub-sectors that this category is intended to cover.
B. BUSINESS SERVICES
1. Legal services
Japan is offering new commitments in legal services, with necessary limitations, provided by a judicial scrivener qualified as "Shiho-Shoshi," an administrative scrivener qualified as "Gyosei-Shoshi," a certified social insurance and labour consultant qualified as "Shakai-Hoken-Romushi" and a land and house surveyor qualified as "Tochi-Kaoku-Chosashi." With such improvements, all categories in legal services that need a qualification have been offered as commitments.
In legal advisory services on law of jurisdiction where the service supplier is a qualified lawyer, Japan offered new additional commitments that registered foreign lawyers (Gaikokuho-Jimu-Bengoshi) are able to employ Japanese lawyers (Bengoshi). Japan has confirmed that there are no limitations on both market access and national treatment under mode 2.
Japan has adopted common terminologies in line with Joint Statement on Legal Services (TN/S/W/37).
2. Accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services
Japan's initial offer on accounting services was limited to those provided by an accountant qualified as "Koninkaikeishi." The revised offer has been expanded to include commitments on accounting services provided by a service supplier not qualified as "Koninkaikeishi."
3. Taxation services
Japan's initial offer on taxation services was limited to those provided by a tax accountant qualified as "Zeirishi." The revised offer has been expanded to include commitments on taxation services provided by a service supplier not qualified as "Zeirishi."
4. Architectural services
In the initial offer, Japan scheduled commitments on services provided by both a service supplier qualified as "Kenchikushi" and a service supplier not qualified as "Kenchikushi." The scope of each commitment encompassed four different service sub-sectors (architectural services, engineering services, integrated engineering services and urban planning and landscape architectural services), there was a room to improve clarity in the scope of commitment. In the revised offer, Japan improved the clarity by scheduling these four sub-sectors separately.
5. Engineering services and integrated engineering services
Japan is offering new commitments in engineering services related to petroleum, petroleum products, gas and minerals, all of which were excluded in the initial offer.
6. Rental and leasing services, without operators relating to ships
Japan is offering new commitments in the rental and leasing services without operators relating to ships, with some limited reservations.
7. Technical testing and analysis services
Japan is offering new commitments regarding technical testing and analysis services covered by the Measurement Law and technical testing and analysis services for manufactured goods which are not covered by the Measurement Law.
8. Placement services of personnel and Supply services of personnel
Regarding the supply services of personnel, Japan has withdrawn a reservation on "manufacturing work stipulated in the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare Ordinance."
Japan improved the commitments regarding market access under mode 1 in both the placement services of personnel and the supply services of personnel, from "unbound" to "commercial presence is required."
Some WTO members indicated that, in Japan's initial offer, it was unclear as to which activities were included in the placement services of personnel and the supply services of personnel respectively. In response to these comments, Japan has enhanced the clarity by providing examples of activities which are covered by these services in a footnote.
C. COMMUNICATION SERVICES
1. Postal and Courier services
In line with the Guidelines for scheduling commitments concerning postal and courier services, including express delivery (TN/S/W/30), Japan has adopted a common classification by which the activities scheduled are described under Postal and Courier Services.
Japan is offering improvement in market access and national treatment commitments under mode 1 in Special Correspondence Delivery Business.
2. Audiovisual services
Japan is offering improvements in market access and national treatment commitments under mode 1 in Motion picture projection services.
D. DISTRIBUTION SERVICES
Japan is offering new commitments with a limited reservation on distribution services related to petroleum and petroleum products and distribution services supplied at Public Wholesale Market, both of which were excluded in the initial offer.
E. TRANSPORTATION SERVICES
Japan is offering new commitments on maintenance and repair of vessels with some limited reservations in both Maritime Transport Auxiliary Services and Internal Waterways Transport Services.
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