What is OTO

Abbreviation of The Office of Trade and investment Ombudsman.

・We receive complaints from overseas and domestic enterprises concerning specific government regulations, which are obstacles to export or investment to Japan.
・In response to the complaints, we improve regulations and clear up any misunderstandings.
・In this way, we improve access to the Japanese market.
OTO was established in January 1982.
The number of filed complaints is 1065 (as of July,2005).
(1) Network between the secretariat and related ministries/agencies
The secretariat (Cabinet Office) informs related ministries/agencies of filed complaints.
To complainants, related ministries/agencies make replies such as explanations on present regulations and proposals for improvements by using this network. The complainants subsequently make known their opinions on these replies through this network.
(2) Market Access Ombudsman Council (MAOC):
This council is comprised of a distinguished group of scholars and business leaders. Non-Japanese members are also included.
If complainants were not satisfied by the response of the related ministries/agencies, MAOC discusses the issues.
If MAOC decided that related ministries/agencies should improve regulations, it submits its opinions to OMA.
(3) Office of Market Access (OMA) :
This office is comprised of the prime minister, as its head, and thirteen ministers who are responsible for the improvement of market access. It decides on improvement measures, reflecting the opinions of MAOC.
(4) Secretariat:
Cabinet Office serves as the secretariat.
Most of the complaints have been addressed to the Secretariat.
Organization of OTO
OTO Poster
Policy Actions to Market Access Issues as Concerns Standards, Certification and Others