Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
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Electricity Market Surveillance CommissionElectricity Market Surveillance Commission and the NCAC Conclude an Agreement for Consumer Protection

On February 12, 2016, the Electricity Market Surveillance Commission (hereinafter referred to as the “Commission”) and the National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan (NCAC) concluded a partnership agreement for the strengthening of consumer protection, in order to develop an environment which enables consumers to avoid potential problems, with an eye on the full liberalization of entry into the electricity retail market, which is to be implemented in April 2016.
Also, METI hereby announces further efforts that the Commission is to make in order to protect consumers from potential problems associated with the liberalization.

1. Conclusion of a partnership agreement with the NCAC

The Commission and the NCAC have concluded the Partnership Agreement for the Strengthening of Measures for Preventing Consumer Troubles Associated with the Full Liberalization of Entry into the Electricity Retail Market, whose purpose is to take measures through collaboration and cooperation between the Commission and the NCAC in order to further strengthen measures against consumers becoming involved in contract disputes with business operators and other potential problems caused by malicious business operators.
Based on this Agreement, the Commission and the NCAC will take necessary measures such as releasing joint reports on malpractice that entities including the NCAC receive along with advice on resolution of such problems.

2. Examples of inquiries on full liberalization received from consumers

As business operators conduct full-scale business activities in preparation for full liberalization, entities including the NCAC are receiving consumer inquiries related to the liberalization and the Commission will introduce examples of such inquiries and provide advice for consumers through the following efforts.

3. Package of strategies for protecting consumers in response to electricity liberalization

The Commission hereby announces a package of strategies with the purpose of alerting customers to potential trouble and disseminating information on matters such as procedures which are necessary in response to full liberalization.
Based on this package, the Commission is to take future measures for the protection of consumers as specified in the Partnership Agreement described above in section 1, which was concluded by the Commission and the NCAC, as well as making necessary efforts such as those described below.

  • To hold the events, “Electricity Liberalization Caravan,” at commercial facilities throughout Japan, targeted to consumers
  • To establish an additional telephone consultation service available on weekday nights and holidays, named the “Refuge Temple”, which is independent from the contact hotline regarding electricity liberalization, around the implementation date for full liberalization; specifically, from late March 2016 to mid-April 2016

For details, see the Japanese language press release.

Release date

February 12, 2016

Division in charge

Policy Planning Division, Executive bureau, Electricity Market Surveillance Commission

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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