Message from the President
Welcome to the website of the National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan (NCAC).
Message from the President YAMADA Akinori
NCAC was launched as a special public corporation in 1970 under the Act on National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan. In 2003, NCAC was turned into an incorporated administrative agency. On October 1, 2020, NCAC celebrated its 50th anniversary. The consumer affairs administration took a major step forward after the Consumer Protection Fundamental Act was enacted in 1968. After the foundation of the Consumer Affairs Agency in 2009, consumer affairs centers were established across Japan and consumer affairs consultants were increased, which enhanced administrative services for consumers at regional level. As a core institution working on consumer issues in everyday life, NCAC has addressed changing consumer issues in order to contribute to the stabilization and improvement of the lives of the people.
NCAC works on a wide range of tasks. The most essential function is to help prevent potential consumer problems and support resolution of existing consumer problems related to transactions of products and services. In recent years, consumer affairs centers and the like across Japan receive around 900,000 inquiries and complaints per year from consumers who have encountered trouble. It is said that consumer issues reflect society. As consumption behavior changes, consumer problems change. Recently, there have been numerous consumer problems stemmed from online transactions such as those related to subscription, and those related to money-making schemes through side jobs or investment triggered by social media. As a new normal has been introduced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, problems related to online shopping have increased in all age groups. NCAC is enhancing the support for resolving consumer problems in response to advancing digital network society. It is necessary to promote IT adoption to increase capacity for consumer affairs consultation. NCAC is developing a plan for further IT adoption.
As Japan is experiencing an increasing number of natural disasters such as earthquake and flood, there is a rise in hard-sell tactics capitalizing on natural disasters (e.g. pressing consumers to order expensive and/or unnecessary construction work). There have been also COVID-19 related problems. Some businesses have sold questionable antivirus products capitalizing on anxiety about the novel coronavirus. Some fraudsters have tricked consumers out of money or personal information capitalizing on vaccination opportunities. NCAC has disclosed results of testing such questionable products and has established a special hotline for consumers in urgent need.
We are in a turning point in history. It is ever more important for NCAC to support consumer affairs centers across Japan, to inform and request to the government, and to issue consumer alerts based on accurate and helpful information, considering support for the elderly and safety for children. It should be noted that the age of adulthood will be lowered from 20 to 18 in April 2022. There is a pressing need to alert and educate young consumers on this matter. NCAC is sharing relevant information through various media.
NCAC will continue to make efforts to prevent and minimize consumer detriment in cooperation with consumers, businesses and administrative authorities. Thank you for your support and cooperation.