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acti-trust implications :elating to some of the associations' other activities. In still other cases, they simply have not been permitted to participate, evea though they are members in good stancias oi the council or association in question.
Standards - writing bodies have been more open to foreiga pe:ticipation in the United States than in Japan. The Society of Automobile Engineers in the United States, for example, has a foreign membe: ship of 1,574 of whom 202 are Japanese, and the American Society for Testing and Materials includes 115 Japanese members. Membership in the association sponsoring the preparation of a standard is not a prerequisite to participation in the standards - writing body. The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineering (JSME), on the other hand, has only 140 foreign members out of total membership of 40, 700. The Japan Society of Automobile Engineers (JSAE) has only 50 out of 15,000. It should be noted, howeve:, that there is no regulation prohibiting foreigners from participating in these organizations. Apart from the immediate language barrier, foreign members cza express their views in these organizations or at least use them as a vehicle for collecting information, including information on standards and testing. Therefore, a large part of the problem would be solved if U.S. companies were to be more aggressive in seeking membership in these ssnciations and using that membership to good advantage.
Foucaurlarnhimills have been compounded by the absence of a comprehensive source of advance information about impending standards changes, readily usable by foreigners. First, standards changes have been announced to the public only after the time for submitting comments or recommendations had passed. Second, public notices have been published in the Kamdo or "Official Gazette." Items in Kamoo (which is not indexed) are arranged in accordaace with the hierarchy of the organizations acting on the matter concerned. Matters requiring Diet action are listed in the first group, cabinet orders in the second (both in order of ministry seniority), specific ministerial orders in the third, and so on. This system, which has been used for more than 100 years, is familiar to the Japanese, but generally has not been uaderstood by foreigners requiring informa tion printed in Kamoo. It is not, however, the position of the GPC that Kempo should be altered for the beneiit of foreigners. A mo:e practical solution is suggested by the GATT Standards Code, as detailed below. There is a monthly bulletin, "Standardization Journal," issued by the Japanese Standards Association (Ninon Kikaku Kyokai, phone Tokyo (03) 583-8001) which gives prior information on contemplated changes in JIS. The journal also carries information on various loreign products standards. Unfortunately this bulletin is not very widely ledown among foreigners, probably because it is available only in Japanese.
The Japanese government has recently made several changes in standards-writing procedures which make it easier for foreign companies to participate in or comment on the process. With respect to electrical appliances, for example, MTI has made certa in specific chanyes (including inclusion of a 'U.S. representative on the Japan Electrical Association (JEA) Advisory Committee) which are reported in greater detail in the Electrical Appliances Task Force report.
In addition, a cabinet decision of May 22; 1979 conta ins the following two key procedural principles:
2. Whea adopting or modifying standards, public notification
3. After such notifications are made, opportunity for interested parties, whether domestic or foreign, to submit their views will be provided as much as possible, and views thus submitted will be given due consideration. For this purpose, improvement in procedures shall be facilitated where necessary."
Following this decision, MITI has started to announce standards changes in advance in JETRO's Daily Bulletin (Tsusho Koho). The American Embassy has translated these announcements, and the GPC had furaishod copies to industrial magazines in the United States and to ACCJ members. The U.S. Department of Commerce has disseminated information about them to people known to be interested. As a result of the publication of these announcements, numerous firms have written to the GPC for additional details on intended changes. Although the notice period is still much too short, MITI's action represents a welcome improvement over previous procedures. The GPC is concerned, however, that it has been unable to learn of any such public announcements emanating from other ministries. Since it is unlikely that no other ministry is contemplating standards changes, other ministries should also follow a public notice procedure. It would be most beneficial if one single source could be charged with publishing all such notices.
U.S. exporters to Japan also have encountered seve:al substantive problems with Japanese star.dards. The first is that JIS ma:ks are not presently available for p:oducts manuíactured abroad.
Although, in theory. JIS marks are entirely voluntary and not required by law, in practice they have been adopted by several government agencies as mandatory. The Japan Water Works Association (JWW. for example, is a non-profit association orzanized unde: the auspices of the Ministry of Health and Welfare. The Ministry commissioned JWWA to formulate specifications for plumbing fixtures to be connected directly to city water mains. These specifications were adopted as mandatory by municipalities and other local government bodies which operate city water supply systems. The regulations provide for the use only of fixtures complying with JIS standards or "equiv. alent," resulting in the effective barring of foreiga products.
Similar adoptions of JIS as mandatory standards apply to certain automobile equipment, electrical goods, high pressure gas storage and pollution test methods. The GPC has learned that the requirements for receiving the JIS mark are so stringent that even small or medium-sized Japanese companies often do not have the capacity to comply. As a matter of fact, only two or three percent actually apply for the JIS mark.
To the extent that compliance with JIS is important in gaining private or governmect sector acceptance, JIS standards should be reasonable and foreign products meeting them should be able to utilize the JIS mark without difficulty. The first of the basic principles stated in the cabinet decision referred to above is that "when adopting or modifying standards, conformity with international standards will be sought as much as possible, while taking into account circumstances unique to Japan."* Unfortunately, a majority of JIS (just as many other national standards) are not comparable with international standards. Moreover, the majority of the JIS which are comparable to international standards are product description standards. Greater deviations exist in test method standards. As a result, it is difiicult to judge the comparability of product JIS, since they rely upon testmethod JIS to describe performance characteristics.
1. MITI has recognized the need to make the JIS mark, available to foreign manuiacturers. On April 2, 1979, they made a public announcement of their intent to do so together with several possi. ble procedures which could be followed. Shortly thereafter, MITI asked the GPC to recommend categories of standards which should be given priority in opening up the system to foreign
This statement was made by Mr. Masaíumi Ono, Director of the Standards Division, Agency of Industrial Science & Technology (AIST) at a JETRO Seminar on the JIS sy stem.
participation. In response to an ACCJ questionnaire, 18 requests for access to the JIS mark, covering a broad range of product categories, have been received to date. There are certain problems which must be resolved before the JIS mark becomes available, however, including applicability of the penal provisions of the Industrial Standardization Law, and the means of qualifying and periodically inspecting foreign lactories.
A bill to revise the Industrial Standardization Law aimed at making the JIS mark available to foreign manufacturers was passed by the Diet in March 1980. We do not yet know the details of how the new law will be implemented, but the bill certainly represeats a major step forward.
2. Similar problems exist with the "JAS" mark, which is given to selected classes of processed food, fish, and forest products conforrning to Japan Agricultural Standards (JAS). JAS are controlled by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), which originally established them to upgrade domestic farm and forest products. MAFF has made great efforts to create a consumer prefereace for products bearing the JAS mark: Nonetheless, the JAS mark is voluntary, and its absence does not prevent a product from being imported into Japan.
Due to the highly variable nature of the raw materials used in food and forest products, MAFF requires that inspections be carried out by MAFE, regional governments, or other organizations licensed by MAFF to perform such services. There are two separate inspection procedures, one for goods produced in MAFF-certified plaats in Japan and another for goods produced in other plants. For MAFFcertified plants, samples of the goods produced are inspected by one of the MAFF-licensed organizations for confirmation that the goods meet the JAS staadards. For goods produced in other plants, such as imported processed foods and forest products, samples are selected in Japan by personnel from one of the MAFF-licensed organizations and tested to determine whether or not the goods meet the JAS standards. If the goods inspected are found to conform to the relevant JAS, the JAS mark may be placed on the goods. Imported tomato paste, mashed potatoes, processed fish, lumber, plywood, and other products have received the JAS ma:k under these rules.
In this regard, it is important to understand that, once the JAS mark has been applied to a processed food product, that product ca.7 then be further mixed and blended with other ingredients in Japan to produce a final product which will be eligible to receive the JAS ma:k. Due to the consumer preference for JAS marked products, the:e is an incentive for importers to satisiy the requirements for obtaining
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the JAS .nark on goods which are in demand for incorporaiion into processed consumer foods (for example, tomato paste may be bleuided with othe: ingredients to produce tomato juice). Also in the case if candies, Japanese coníection manufacturers may insist on having the JAS mark on their end products, in which case many ingredients for 'the candies must likewise carry the JAS mark (JAS do nct exist for some ingredients).
The MAFF rules do not preseatly permit the JAS mark to be applied to the packages of foreign consumer food products at the point of packaging. It is difficult, however, to affix or imprint the JAS mark after packaging in a manner which does not impai: the appearance of the packaged food (in the case of frozen or refrigerated products, it is little short of impossible). This difficulty poses a serious problem for importers since attractive packaging is an important element of consumer marketing. Therefore, it would benefit foreign products if the JAS mark could be affixed at the point oí packaging, and the conformity of the product with JAS veziiied at the time og entry (if the product failed to comply, the JAS mark would have to be obliterated prior to sale in Japan).*
In summary, the JAS mark can be granted to a foreign product after arrival in Japan, since it is given to the end product rather than to the factory or process as in the case of the JIS mark. Use of the JAS mark by foreign manusacturers would be greatly facilitated, however, if the mark could be affixed to the product at the manufacturer's plant abroad after final on-site inspection, which is not possible today. An alternative or interim solution would be to have the mark affixed abroad with the final inspection taking place upon arrival in Japan as suggested above. Absence of the 'JAS mark does not prevent the importation of processed foods but it may cause them to lose some of their consumer appeal. Therefore, the GPC believes that increasing the availability of the JAS mark for foreign packaged consumer foods would assist in reaching the TSG's overall objective of increasing trade between Japan and the United States.