Overcoming the challenge of regulatory reform

Paul James Cardwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Regulatory reform has become a dominant feature in the legal and economic environments of states in different parts of the globe. Japan, however, stands out as one which has taken limited steps towards comprehensive regulatory reform. Developments over the past decade suggest that regulatory reform has now become central to the economic and administrative reforms undertaken by the Japanese government. The European Union (EU) has been increasingly vocal in pushing for regulatory reform in Japan. The EU-Japan Joint Declaration 1991, which established a new 'partnership' in international affairs between the two sides, became the basis on which a dialogue on market access began during the 1990s. This has since evolved into a Regulatory Reform Dialogue by which the EU and Japan exchange proposals for removing barriers to market access and related issues. This article examines the nature of regulatory reform in Japan, and analyses the Regulatory Reform Dialogue against the background of the EU-Japan relationship. Although the amount of influence the EU has exerted on Japan during this period of reform is difficult to determine, the importance of the dialogue as evidence of a strengthening of the 'partnership' should not be underestimated.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
JournalElectronic Journal of Contemporary Japanese Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2005


  • regulatory reform
  • Japan
  • European Union

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