Regulatory Enforcement in Local Government in Japan



The Japanese inspectors usually adopt an “informal measure-oriented” style in enforcing violations of regulatory statutes. They prefer administrative guidance with no legally binding effect to compliance orders or criminal prosecution. These formal measures, they think, would erode the cooperative relationship with the regulatee, which is believed essential for cost-effective enforcement. In contrast to that in the United States, the Japanese enforcement process lacks citizen participation and information disclosure, this enabling the inspectors to deal with violations at their own pace.