Telecom Liberalization in Japan

Why Koizumi is not the answer

As Japan's political culture evolves under the premiership of the eccentric but popular Junichiro Koizumi, many questions arise about the net results and sustainability of this new "reform" government. Prime Minister Koizumi has proposed sweeping reforms across the governmental spectrum in Japan, from tax allocations to Japan's military relationship with the United States to the organization of power within the central government itself. Koizumi's handling of the telecommunications industry, in particular, will be telling as to whether he can walk the walk in correcting Japan's economic malaise. Polls show Koizumi has struck some kind of national chord in Japan -- but will it last, and will he protect or attack Japan's telecom oligopoly?

Mark Tilton is one of the most astute and insightful observers of Japanese industrial policy and has recently been looking at the effects of Japanese, German and American anti-trust policy on international market access in the steel and telecommunications industries. His publications include Restrained Trade: Cartels in Japan's Basic Materials Industries, Regulation, and Regulatory Reform in Japan: Are Things Changing?


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  • Mark Tilton
    Associate Professor, Purdue University