Panel Calls for Separating Handset Prices, Communications Fees

Politics Economy

Tokyo, Nov. 19 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese government panel submitted a report to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday calling for the complete separation of handset prices and communications fees in a bid to help reduce mobile phone bills.

The proposal, part of a report from the Regulatory Reform Promotion Council, headed by National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies Prof. Hiroko Ota, is aimed at eliminating the current complicated mobile phone fee plans, promoting price competition for both handsets and communications fees, and enabling consumers to choose reasonable rate plans easily.

The report also included a proposal to establish around fiscal 2020 a comprehensive exchange offering trading services for financial products such as securities and commodity futures like crude oil.

"Regulatory reform is the main engine of growth for opening a new era," Abe said, adding that he intends to implement necessary measures swiftly by submitting related bills to next year's ordinary parliamentary session opening in January.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, who has helped facilitate discussions on lowering mobile phone fees, told a news conference, "Creating an environment that prompts businesses to compete with one another is a role of the government."

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press