Regulatory Reform of Public Utilities
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Regulatory Reform of Public Utilities

The Japanese Experience

Fumitoshi Mizutani

Covering issues such as deregulation, privatization, organizational reforms, and competition policy, Regulatory Reform of Public Utilities provides a comprehensive summary of regulatory reforms in Japanese public utility industries.
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Chapter 13: Privatization and Structural Reforms

Fumitoshi Mizutani


In the Japanese public utilities market, the private sector plays a vital role, but this has not always been the case. Table 13.1 shows the extent to which privatization has been taking place in several public utilities industries in Japan. There have been two massive trends in privatization schemes. During the first period in the late 1980s under the leadership of Prime Minister Nakasone, three national public corporations were privatized: Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) in 1985; the Japan Monopoly Public Corporation (Tobacco and Salt) in 1985; and the Japan National Railway (JNR) in 1987. The second wave of privatization occurred more recently during the tenure of Prime Minister Koizumi in the early 2000s, with the most notable cases being the privatization of three public corporations: the Teito Rapid Transit Authority (Tokyo Metro) in 2004; four highway public corporations in 2005; and the Japan Post Public Corporation in 2007. These organizational reforms in Japan, especially the privatization of the JNR, differ from those in other industrial countries, especially European countries.

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