Japan- Registration or Notification


Editor’s Note:


The following information is adapted from ITU Trends in Telecommunications Reform – 2004/05: Licensing in an Era of Convergence  (Geneva:  ITU, 2004) and was adapted from the Telecommunications Business Law (Law No. 86 of December 25, 1984) as amended last by Law No. 125 of 24 July 2003, available on-line at:   http://www.soumu.go.jp/joho_tsusin/eng/laws.html.




Before 1 April 2004, telecommunication carriers in Japan were categorized into two types under the Telecommunications Business Law:  “Type 1 telecommunications carriers,” which offered services using their own facilities, and “Type 2 telecommunications carriers,” which did not have their own facilities and which leased their lines.


Carriers were required to obtain permission to engage in a Type 1 business or were required to submit a registration or notification of their entry into the market to engage in a Type 2 business.


In light of heightened competition and the emergence of numerous substitute services – and also out of a desire to review the regulations for market entry and service provision -- the Telecommunications Business Law was completely reviewed in 2003 and the amended law came into force on 1 April 2004.  The amendments: 


  • abolished the distinction between telecommunication circuit facilities of Type 1 and Type 2 carriers;
  • abolished the permission system for market entry and withdrawal and introduced a registration and notification system in its place;

  • abolished tariff regulation; and

  • improved consumer protection rules, holding carriers more accountable for service provision and handling of complaints.


With regard to registration and notification, the amended Telecommunications Business Law states that:


  • Any person who intends to operate a telecommunications business by installing telecommunications circuit facilities on a scale exceeding the standards specified in the applicable Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) ordinance shall obtain registration from the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications.
  •  Any person (except a person who has to obtain registration) who intends to operate a telecommunications business shall submit a notification to the Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications.




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