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Main Activities of NCAC

  1. Consumer Information collection ,Analysis & release
  2. Consultation
  3. Public Relations, publications and surveys
  4. Product Testing
  5. Education & Training
  6. Consumer ADR
  7. International Exchange

Consumer Information collection, Analysis & release

NCAC stores information detailing consumer issues and safety hazards through PIO-NET(Practical living Information Online-NETwork), an online network connecting NCAC and local consumer centers.

NCAC investigates and analyzes cases of consumer issues and safety hazards learned of through PIO-NET and releases the findings so as to prevent the occurrence of similar problems and to hold back the expansion of the existing problems. If necessary, NCAC also performs product tests. Furthermore, requests are made to the responsible governmental bodies to revise the relevant standards and the industry is also asked for improvement of products and/or services.

Consultation

Activities to support local consumer centers across the country is an important role of NCAC.

NCAC also provides advice to local consumer centers across the country and solves their cases in cooperation. NCAC provides practical consultation method and useful information based on case studies about similar problems.

In the case of consumer issues that require some expertise, NCAC cooperate with specialists including lawyers and technical experts.

Furthermore, NCAC gathers information from consumers via 'Consumer trouble mail box' on its website.

Public Relations, publications and surveys

NCAC releases useful consumer affairs information promptly through press conferences and its website, publications and leaflets.

Press conferences

Organized to promptly release useful consumer affairs information including product test findings, safety hazard and risk information and precautionary information concerning illegal business practices.

Website(http://www.kokusen.go.jp/)

Provides a variety of information including the methods of controversial illegal business practices, accidents caused by faulty products, product test findings, locations of local consumer centers, product recalls and voluntary product replacements.

Publications

Various publications are issued including the journal specialized in consumer affairs 'Gekkan Kokumin Seikatsu' (People's Life monthly magazine) and 'Kurashi no Mamechishiki' (Useful Day-to-Day Tips) containing easy-to-understand tips and information useful for everyday life as well as 'Shohi-Seikatsu Nenpo' (The Annual Report on Consumer Affairs).

Surveys

Research and study is carried out targeting not only consumer issues but also controversial matters observed in people's life.

Product Testing

NCAC performs testing for products suspected of being faulty as the results of consumer consultations handled by NCAC and/or local consumer centers. Product testing is designed to solve consumer complaint cases and discover the causes of accidents triggered by products.

NCAC also implements highly reliable scientific testing targeting consumer issues and products that may cause fatal and/or serious physical hazards.

The product test findings are accordingly released to provide precautionary information to consumers. Furthermore, requests are made to the responsible central government ministries to revise the relevant standards and the industry is also asked for improvement of products.

Education & Training

NCAC runs a variety of training courses nationwide targeting the following individuals: administrative officers of local authorities handling consumer affairs, consumer counselors, people aspiring to become consumer counselors, private corporation employees engaging in consumer affairs and teachers.

These training courses are designed to provide knowledge concerning consumer affairs, skills to handle consumer consultations and to provide useful information to consumers.

NCAC certifies consumer counselors through the qualifying examination for consumer counselors. The examination is given nationwide annually to improve the capacity and quality of counselors and to obtain new counselors.

Consumer ADR

On April 1, 2009, NCAC established the ADR Committee.

The committee has an independent authority to carry out mediation and arbitration to resolve important consumer conflict cases that are necessary to be solved on a nationwide scale.

The summary of the outcomes of the mediation and arbitration procedures will be released as necessary in order to prevent the occurrence of similar problems and to hold back the expansion of the existing problems.

International Exchange

Since consumer affairs are a common global issue, NCAC collects related information from overseas.

The Planning and Coordination Division is in charge of publishing the newsletter for abroad, and assisting visitors from overseas.

Through these activities, NCAC verifies the trends in consumer issues around the globe.