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  5. METI Minister Seko Attends a Signing Ceremony for a Partnership Agreement with Wakayama Prefecture

METI Minister Seko Attends a Signing Ceremony for a Partnership Agreement with Wakayama Prefecture

Improving the business transaction conditions for subcontractors and other SMEs

July 24, 2018

On July 23 (Mon.), 2018, Mr. Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, visited Wakayama Prefecture. He attended a signing ceremony for a partnership agreement with Wakayama Prefecture concerning initiatives that will improve business transaction conditions for subcontractors and other SMEs in the prefecture, and signed and concluded the agreement with Mr. Yoshinobu Nisaka, Governor, Wakayama Prefecture.

The agreement is Japan’s first case example of a partnership agreement between the government of Japan and municipalities to improve business transaction conditions for subcontractors and other SMEs. Under this agreement, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and Wakayama Prefecture will jointly hold interviews with subcontractors and other SMEs and conduct other efforts.

1. Purpose

Wakayama Prefecture has been conducting interviews and questionnaire surveys as its own initiative targeting subcontractors and other SMEs in the prefecture. In light of the results of the interviews and surveys, Wakayama Prefecture proposed collaboration with METI in ascertaining current trading practices among subcontractors and other SMEs in the prefecture and on further advancing fair subcontracting practices to improve business transaction conditions for subcontractors and other SMEs.

In response, the two sides held exhaustive discussions and agreed on a broad range of details for the partnership. Accordingly, on July 23 (Mon.), 2018, Minister Seko and Governor Nisaka signed and concluded the partnership agreement.

This is Japan’s first case example of a partnership agreement concluded between METI and a municipality concerning initiatives for improving the business transaction conditions for subcontractors and other SMEs.

2. Outline of the agreement

Under the agreement, METI and Wakayama Prefecture will collaborate by (1) holding interviews with SMEs concerning their trading practices and share collected information and (2) jointly holding workshops and seminars in the prefecture. Through these initiatives, the two sides will further advance fair subcontracting practices.

Division in Charge

Fair Trade Division, Business Environment Department, Small and Medium Enterprise Agency