Copyright (c) 1994 The University of Illinois
University of Illinois Law Review
ARTICLE: THE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF JAPAN'S ANTIMONOPOLY LAW
1994 U. Ill. L. Rev. 115
Alex Y. Seita *
Jiro Tamura **
Jiro Tamura **
In this article, Professors Alex Seita and Jiro Tamura trace the historical background of a contentious issue in United States-Japan economic relations - Japan's enforcement of its antimonopoly law. The perspective prevailing in the United States is well known: Japan has inadequately enforced its antimonopoly law and thereby impaired American access to the Japanese domestic trade and investment markets. Americans, however, remain largely uninformed about Japanese views on this subject. Professors Seita and Tamura endeavor to explain the apparent reluctance of the Japanese to enforce the antimonopoly law by exploring the history of prewar competition policies in Japan, the changing antitrust objectives of the American occupation in the years following World War II, and conditions within and without Japan during the early years of the antimonopoly law (1947-53). Japan's largely favorable experiences with cartelization in the past, the manner in which the antimonopoly law was forced upon the Japanese, and the legal limitations of the antimonopoly law itself must all be addressed if future American criticism is to serve a constructive function.
The discord between the United States and Japan has grown steadily for more than a decade. 1 Today, a list of the reasons for the troubled relationship covers more than Japan's persistent and large merchandise trade surplus with the United States. 2 Americans accuse the Japanese of unfair economic and political practices, 3 and criticize Japan for refusing to share the United States's international burdens. 4 Furthermore, Americans worry about the challenge that Japan's economy and ...
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