WTO Services Trade Negotiations
Outline of Japan's Initial Offer
1. General Presentation
(1) Making Offers to Bind Liberalization Measures
- Japan takes the initiative in tabling its initial offer with a view to advancing the negotiation on trade in services, standing on the basic belief that liberalization of trade in services would benefit both the importing and exporting Members, by increasing the inflow of foreign direct investment and employment, facilitating transfer of technology, revitalizing market activities, multiplying consumers' choices and so forth.
- In particular, Japan proactively makes offer in those sectors where it has promoted liberalization and deregulation since the conclusion of Uruguay Round.
(2) Considerations for the Modes and Sectors of Interest to Developing Countries
- In its initial offer, Japan has improved its commitments in modes and sectors of interest to developing country Members such as Movement of Natural Persons, Business Services, and Tourism.
(3) Other Considerations related to Negotiations
- Japan's offer is conditional upon submission by its negotiating partners of sufficient offers - i.e. commitments of a comparable level to those of Japan for developed country Members and sufficient improvement of commitments in light of the respective levels of development for developing country Members.
- Japan also reserves the right to modify, extend, add to, reduce or withdraw its offer both in technical and substantial manner, in those sectors where discussions on classification, definition and other technical and substantial issues are still under way.
- In preparing its offer, Japan has seriously examined all the requests received from Members. It, however, refrains from making offer in those sectors and items which it is not convinced is within the scope of GATS, or on those items which are by their nature suitable for bilateral arrangements rather than for multilateral negotiations.
- Japan has not reduced in any part of its offer the level of commitments it has undertaken in the course of Uruguay Round and its extended negotiations. It has added or modified CPC numbers, footnotes, etc. where necessary, in order to further clarify its commitments.
(4) MFN Exemption
- As the Most Favored Nation (MFN) principle is expected to be applied to Maritime Transport Services when negotiations on the sector come to a successful conclusion, Japan herewith submits MFN exemptions in this sector. This, however, does not represent any changes in Japan's basic position of attaching particular importance to the MFN principle, and it will pursue MFN-based liberalization to the extent possible, including on these items.
(5) Establishment of Additional Horizontal Disciplines
- In parallel with the request-offer procedure, Japan will actively participate in negotiations for establishing horizontal disciplines on domestic regulations, paying due consideration to legitimate policy objectives.
2. Outline of Japan's Initial Offer
(1) Horizontal Commitments (Movement of Natural Persons)
- Japan has already made commitments for 'Intra-corporate Transferee' and 'Temporary Visitor' as stipulated in "the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act". Additionally, it now offers to take commitments on the Statuses of Residence of 'Legal/Accounting Services,' 'Engineer' and 'Specialist in Humanities/International Services'.
(2) Individual sectors
- Regarding Legal / Taxation Services, in addition to supply of services by natural persons ('Bengoshi,' 'Benrishi' and 'Zeirishi'), Japan now offers to take commitments on supply of services by profession corporations ('Legal Profession Corporation,' 'Patent Business Corporation' and 'Certified Tax Accountant Corporation').
- Regarding Placement and Supply Services of Personnel, Japan offers to remove the limitation on the number of licenses conferred to service suppliers, as well as to expand the scope of occupations for which these services may be supplied.
- Japan offers to take new commitments in some of the Other Business Services which it has not committed (Investigation Services, Telephone Answering Services, Mailing List Compilation and Mailing Services, etc.).
- On Courier Services where Japan has not made commitments in the Uruguay Round negotiations, it now offers to take commitments on Correspondence-delivery Services supplied by Special Correspondence Delivery Business, based on the recent implementation of "the Law Concerning Correspondence Delivery Provided by Private-Sector Operators".
- Regarding Telecommunications Services, Japan has reserved limitation on the foreign capital participation as well as the nationality requirements on board members and auditors for NTT and KDD. Based on the regulatory reform in this sector, it now offers to remove reservation on KDD, and offers to relax the limitation on the foreign capital participation for NTT (from 20% to 33%).
- On Distribution Services, Japan newly offers to include salt in its standing commitments.
- On Educational Services, Japan offers to make commitments on 'Adult Educational Services' and 'Other Education Services' in general, where in the past it has only made commitments with respect to 'foreign language tuition services for adults'.
- Japan has rearranged its commitments on Environmental Services according to the new classification that is currently being proposed. It does not offer commitments on Water for Human Use, as a consensus among Members on classification in this sector is yet to be seen.
- Already having committed to high level of liberalization on Financial Services in the 1997 financial services negotiations, Japan now offers to take commitments on liberalization measures based on the revision of laws thereafter (removal of compulsory reinsurance of automobile third party liability insurance reflecting the revision of "the Automobile Liability Security Law", etc.).
- Japan offers to take commitments on all of the uncommitted sub-sectors under Tourism and Travel related Services, including Children's Holiday Camp Services, and now offers full commitment on the whole sector.
- On Maritime Transport Services, on which Members have not necessarily made sufficient commitments due to the suspension in 1996 of the negotiations, Japan now offers to take commitments based on the Model Schedule (International Maritime Transport Services and Maritime Auxiliary Transport Services, etc.).
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