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3. Barriers to trade
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3.1 Tariff and tariff administrative measures

Japan's average tariff rate stood at 2.4 percent in 2004, but Japan still maintains exceedingly high tariff rates and some unreasonable tariff administrative measures on certain products.

3.1.1 Tariff peak

Japan's tariff rates on agricultural and marine products are exceedingly high. Over 80 percent of farm and fishery products are subject to customs duties, mostly at more than 15 percent. Japan's imposition of high tariff on agricultural products impedes the export of the relevant Chinese products to Japan. China is closely monitoring the trend of Japanese tariff on agricultural products.

3.1.2 Tariff escalation

Tariff escalation is particularly apparent in agricultural, marine and food products. For example, some fruits are subject to tariff rates ranging from 16 percent to 32 percent, whereas the tariff rates of processed fruit products such as jams, jellies and mashed fruits may be up to 40 percent. The tariff rates of drinkable tea range from 3 percent to 17 percent, while the tariff rates of beverages made from tea or coffee may go as high as 29.8 percent. Tariff rates on fishery products normally fall within the range of 2 – 3.5 percent, but tariff rates applied to dried, salted, smoked, or crushed fish or fish meat are raised to about 10 percent.

3.1.3 Tariff quotas

There is a great demand for konnyaku (Amorphophalus) on the Japanese market, but Japan imposes an annual tariff quota of 267 tons on Chinese exports of konnyaku, most of which (250 tons) must be sold exclusively to konnyaku processing plants in Okinawa. In addition, Japan collects a uniform tariff of 40 percent on Chinese exports of konnyaku within the quota and subjects those outside the quota to a tariff of 2,796 Japanese Yen per kilogram. These measures have restricted Chinese exports of konnyaku to Japan, and Chinese farmers of konnyaku have, accordingly, suffered heavy losses. China hopes that Japan will end its restrictive import measures on konnyaku from China the soonest possible.

Japan has a very complicated tariff management system, and its transparency leaves much room for improvement. For example, the Japanese authorities, on the pretext of lack of experience, often delay the publication of quota allocation results, or only release the list of enterprises granted quotas without specifying the exact quantity of quotas each receives so that the applicants of quotas could not judge the fairness of the quota distribution by comparing the quotas each enterprise is allocated. China hopes that Japan will make efforts to improve its transparency in the administration of tariff quotas.

3.1.4 Others

The wide existence in Japan of the combined use of ad valorem duties and specific duties (alternative or compound duties) makes the calculation of customs duties very complicated and causes some difficulties to Chinese enterprises exporting to Japan. Moreover, tariff on products calculated at ad valorem duties is significantly higher than that calculated at specific duties, particularly so for agricultural products, which poses, in a certain extent, an obstacle to the growth of trade between China and Japan.

3.2 Import restrictions

3.2.1 Rice tendering regime

According to the Uruguay Round Agreement, Japan should ensure the minimum access of foreign rice to its market through the general bidding (GB) and the simultaneous buy and sell (SBS) programs. Problems in these programs include:

(1) Rice imported into Japan under the GB method accounts for a significant proportion of the total imported rice, but the tendering process fails to ensure market access in the true sense of the term. As most of the quotas under the GB method are allocated to specific countries directly designated by the General Food Policy Bureau under the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the tendering process is marred with government interference and lacks transparency.
(2) As a result, Chinese companies have won only an extremely small portion of all the quantity of rice put under bidding, which contrasts sharply with the competitiveness in price, quality and taste of Chinese rice. Of all the 9 tenders under the GB method carried out in 2005 financial year (up to 3 March 2006) totaling 596,032 tons of rice, China managed to win only a negligible 19,030 tons in the first tender.

(3) In the tender for foreign rice under the SBS method, the importers have to sell the rice won in the bid at the amount demanded by domestic customers to the General Food Policy Bureau under the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, which will then re-sell the rice at an internally fixed mark-up to domestic wholesalers. Moreover, the amount of rice imported through the SBS scheme is subject to frequent adjustments and readjustments by the General Food Policy Bureau.

The Chinese side believes that the unreasonable practices in the import of rice dull the edge of the competitiveness of Chinese rice on the Japanese market. And China will continue to watch closely the measures taken by the Japan authorities to reform its import rice tendering regime and to improve its transparency.

3.2.2 Import quotas on laver products

Japan subjects the import of certain marine products such as laver (nori) to quantitative restrictions. Before 2005, Japan allocated its annual import quotas exclusively to South Korean laver products. At the request of Chinese enterprises involved, China initiated in April 2004 its trade barriers investigation into Japanese import administrative measures on laver products. The Chinese side believed that Japan's administrative measures on the import of laver products had violated relevant WTO agreements and its own commitments under the WTO framework, and constituted a discrimination against Chinese businesses. After friendly consultations between the Chinese and the Japanese government, Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry released its 2005 quota scheme for laver import in February 2005, replacing the earlier country-specific quota with a global quota. As a result, China's Ministry of Commerce terminated its trade barriers investigation on Japanese import administrative measures on laver products on 28 February 2005. China exported to Japan some 120 million sheets of laver products in 2005.

Noting that Japan has not opened its market in the trade of roast laver products to Chinese enterprises, the Chinese side has taken the matter up with the Japanese authorities. Japan expressed that it would open its roast laver market to China in 2006.

3.3 Barriers to customs procedures

Chinese enterprises report that fresh and live products exported to Japan are often delayed in customs clearance, which incurs heavy losses to them.

3.4 Technical barriers to trade

3.4.1 Label of origin for food

According to the Law Concerning the Standardization and Proper Labeling of Agricultural and Forestry Products, commonly referred to as the Japan Agricultural Standards Law (JAS Law), all food products sold in Japan shall bear a mark of origin as from December 2000. In September 2004, Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries revised its quality mark criteria regarding processed food: extending the scope of processed food required to bear a mark of origin and stipulating that processed food not required to bear such a mark should not carry any misleading information as to its origin of production. Japan amended once again its regulations in September 2005, demanding that the place of processing and the place of origin should be clearly differentiated for processed food, prohibiting unclear labeling, and adding 20 categories of processed food "close to fresh and live food products" to its mandatory list required to bear a label of origin.

The Japanese authorities often conduct inspections on the quality and origin of aquatic products, and even go so far as to conduct DNA tests on eels marked "produced in Japan" and publish the results of such tests on their official websites. As a result of such practices on the part of the Japanese government and exaggerated reports on the part of the Japanese media of the hazardous residues of pesticides in some Chinese agricultural products, quite a number of Japanese consumers have been misled to believe that Chinese agricultural products are not healthful. Therefore, the above measures constitute a great barrier to the export of relevant Chinese farm products to Japan, and China, hoping that the Japanese government and media will evaluate Chinese agricultural products objectively and accurately, is very concerned with the issue.

3.4.2 Amendment to the Enforcement Order on the Law for Promoting the Effective Use of Resources

The Amendment to the Enforcement Order on the Law for Promoting the Effective Use of Resources, which involves a variety of electronic and electrical products, contains many oppressive stipulations on sales volume, environmental protection, disclosure of information about the use of chemicals and so on. One of the stated objectives for making such an amendment is, as is declared, to "solve the problem of the growth of foreign products on the domestic market." This does not accord with the WTO principle of the elimination of quantitative restrictions, nor does it come under the legitimate goal of the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade. Rather, it is a discrimination against imported goods. The amendment, if adopted and put into force, will exert a considerably damaging effect upon relevant Chinese exports. China is deeply concerned with the proposed amendment and hopes that Japan will further clarify the requirements in the amendment.

3.5 Sanitary and phytosanitary measures

China is the second largest supplier of agricultural and food products to Japan. The persistence of the Japanese authorities in taking some unconventional quarantine measures on Chinese exports negatively affects China's trade with Japan in relevant agricultural products.

3.5.1 Agricultural chemical residues Positive list system

In May 2005, the Japanese government notified other WTO members of its Final Draft on the Positive List System of Agricultural Chemical Residues in Foods, which is to be implemented as from May 2006. The Final Draft specifies nearly 50,000 provisional maximum residue limits (MRLs) for a total number of 734 pesticides, veterinary drugs and feed additives in imported foods and agrarian products, which will significantly affect the access of foreign foods and farm products to the Japanese market. Japan is China's largest export market for agricultural products. China exported to Japan US$ 7.93 billion's worth of agricultural products in 2005, an increase of 7.3 percent over the previous year, accounting for 29.2 percent of China's total exports of agricultural products. Initial analysis indicates that Japan's positive list system and its new standards for MRLs will inflict heavy damage on China's major exports. As the positive list system has substantially changed Japan's administrative regime of agricultural chemicals and the new MRLs differ significantly from Japan's current standards, China has followed the track of the positive list system, made a series of research on it, and taken up the matter with the Japanese side in the Japan Trade Policy Review in the WTO and on many other bilateral occasions. China will continue to monitor closely the impact of the implementation of the positive list system on China's exports of agricultural products to Japan. MRL for chlorpyrifos in spinach

In Japan, the maximum residue limit (MRL) for chlorpyrifos in spinach is 0.01 ppm. Only very few countries in the world designate such an exacting MRL for chlorpyrifos in spinach. Both the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) and the US have not set such a MRL, and the EU sets chlorpyrifos MRL at 0.05 ppm. According to statistics, the average daily intake of spinach per capita in Japan is 22.8g, whereas that of radish and cabbage is 47.3g and 37.4g respectively. However, the chlorpyrifos MRLs for the two are set in Japan at 3.0 ppm and 1.0 ppm respectively, 300 and 100 times higher than that for spinach. The Chinese believes that MRLs should be established according to the daily intake of the relevant food in question. In this case, China is very concerned with the consistency of chlorpyrifos MRL in spinach fixed by Japan with the risk assessment principle as provided in the WTO's Agreement on the Implementation of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS Agreement).

It is noted that the effect of shrinking and concentration occurs in frozen vegetables, and accordingly, MRLs should, if necessary at all, be applied differentially to processed and unprocessed vegetables. In the absence of a separate MRL for chlorpyrifos contained in frozen spinach, the Japanese authorities applied MRL for fresh spinach to frozen spinach and adopted restrictive measures against imports from China. The Chinese side is showing great concern with the impact of such a practice on the normal bilateral trade in vegetables and hopes that Japan will rectify the unreasonable regulation as soon as possible.

3.5.2 Harmonization with international standards

Japan's Food Sanitation Law provides that additives in foods be examined and approved by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, only approved additives be used in the production of foods, and the production or importation of foods with non-ratified additives be banned. The Ministry's Guidelines on the Designation of and the Standards for Food Additives and its annexes further stipulate that companies provide complete testing documents to demonstrate the safety and effectiveness of food additives along with their application. The testing fees are to be borne by the applicants, and the examination and approval procedures usually take one year. As some food additives, already accepted by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the WTO and hence widely used in countries around the world, have not been included in the list of approved food additives in Japan, the export of foods containing these additives to the Japanese market tends to be extremely difficult, if not impossible. China is greatly concerned with the glaring inconsistency of the Japanese technical regulations with international norms.

3.5.3 Inspection and quarantine procedures

In most cases, after the food products subject to inspection and quarantine in Japan are sent to the inspection and quarantine center, say, in the morning, only preparations for testing will be made in the morning, for example, peeling peanuts or slicing food into smaller pieces, and instrumental analysis regarding pesticide residues and food additives will not be started until in the afternoon. Confirmatory laboratory analysis will be conducted in case of suspected data. The longest time for spinach products to go through customs formalities is 3 months after the first day of their arrival on the Japanese port. The complicated and onerous quarantine procedures often lead to delays in customs clearance and add to the cost of Chinese exporters.

Approximately 700 pesticides are currently used around the world. The Yokohama Imported Food Inspection and Quarantine Center, with all its best equipment and well-staffed personnel, is only able to test about 200 pesticides. Because of the intimidating workload involved in the testing of these 200 pesticides, there still seems to be a lack of equipment and human resources, thus affecting the smooth progress of inspection and quarantine.

3.5.4 Plant fumigation

According to Article 9 in Japan's Plant Protection Law, the quarantine authorities would fumigate or burn and destroy the fresh flowers when they are found to carry specified pests or harmful plants. However, only 14 pests and 4 harmful plants are listed in Appendix II to the Guidelines on Quarantine of Imported Plants, and those not listed in the appendix would be dealt with on the basis of the same regulation. This provision gives too much discretion to the inspectors and results in widely differing implementation standards. Therefore, it is often difficult for importers to decide whether their plant products need to be fumigated. In addition, because of the limited capacity in dealing with requests of plant fumigation in the quarantine center, importers often have to wait for days until their fresh plants have deteriorated. The Chinese side hopes that transparency of Japanese administrative measures in this regard should be improved so as to facilitate bilateral trade.

3.5.5 Certification of marine food processing facilities

Japan Fisheries Association announced in October 2005 that a new certification regime of hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) for marine food processing facilities would be implemented as of 1 April 2006. The new certification regime targets any and all marine food processing establishments. As from 1 April 2006, new, supplementary and continual examination and approval procedures will be carried out according to the new regime. During the notification period from 1 October 2005 to 31 March 2006, either the new or the old certification regime could be applied. China is watching with concern the new certification regime.

3.5.6 Sterilization of and import restriction on straws

Pursuant to the relevant requirements in the Plant Protection Law and the Livestock Contagious Disease Prevention Law, Japan subjects imported rice straws of Chinese origin to conditional import administrative measures. Chinese straws are only allowed to be imported into the country after they have been disinfected at the facilities designated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries according to the disinfection standards verified by the Ministry.

The number of quarantine on Chinese straws by the Japanese authorities has been increasing year by year since 2002. On 20 May 2005, a rice stem borer (Chilo suppressalis), a species which also exists in Japan, was detected on 124 tons of Chinese straws in Niigata port by the Japanese authorities. On this ground, Japan asked Chinese inspection and quarantine authorities to stop issuing quarantine certificates to the facilities involved. On 27 May 2005, the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries announced that the import of fodders such as straws from China was to be suspended, on the groundless assumption that the epidemic of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) was spreading in China and would probably affect the areas producing straws for export to Japan. The above measures on the part of the Japanese side, which have caused severe economic losses to the Chinese businesses involved, do not comply with the relevant stipulations of international animal organizations and the understandings reached between China and Japan in their negotiations on the hygiene requirements of straws that China exports to Japan. China is greatly concerned with this issue.

3.5.7 Import licensing for live Chinese mitten-handed crabs

On 27 July 2005, Japan's Ministry of Environment added fresh and live Chinese mitten-handed crabs (Eriocheir sinensis, or in their popular Chinese name, da za xie) to its second designated list of special alien species. According to the relevant regulations in the Invasive Alien Species Act, a strict licensing system will be applied to the import and safekeeping of the Chinese mitten crabs. From October to February next year, a large number of Chinese mitten crabs will be exported to Japan from China. Because of the particular way of preparing them for eating, the Chinese mitten crabs must be kept alive and fresh until they are prepared and cooked in the restaurant.

Therefore, all the parties involved in the business, from importers (including transporters at various levels and wholesalers) to restaurants, must apply for a license for import, transport or safekeeping. Those who engage in the business without a license will be subjected, in the case of individuals, to imprisonment of less than 3 years or a fine of 3 million Japanese Yen, and in the case of legal persons, to a fine of less than 100 million Japanese Yen.

China hopes that the Japanese side will take into full account facility of business and operation of the relevant parties concerned such as importers, transporters, wholesalers and retailers, simplify the procedures in licensing, and grant licenses in a timely manner and in sufficient numbers so as not to affect the normal export of the Chinese mitten-handed crabs.

3.5.8 Mandatory inspection on buckwheat

On 26 October 2005, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare issued a circular, effective from that date, to the quarantine agencies in Japan, requiring that mandatory inspection be carried out to check whether buckwheat, including buckwheat flour, imported from China contains aftatoxin. Japan retained 29 items of inspection on Chinese agricultural products in its 2005 mandatory inspection program, at the same time increasing and strengthening its monitoring inspection.

3.5.9 Testing standards for agricultural chemical residues in tea

Japan currently subjects tea to more than 80 items of tests for agricultural chemical residues, and as from 2006 the testing items for tea will be expanded to cover well over 280 items, which would cause great inconvenience to Chinese exporters of tea to Japan. Admittedly, Japan has used European and US trace standards of pesticide for reference in its testing items for tea, but Japan tends to treat the testing items differentially, relaxing them for its domestic pesticides and applying them more rigorously to pesticides of other countries. Such a discriminatory measure runs counter to the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade.

3.5.10 Discriminatory inspection and quarantine measures on bivalve shellfish

Since 1991, Japan has subjected all bivalve shellfish exports (including live parti-colored clams) from China to stringent and time-consuming inspections of shellfish diarrhea and paralytic toxins. For every shipment of shellfish from China, only after the inspection, which may take tens of hours, upon arrival at the Japanese port has been completed, can the shipment be unloaded and put temporarily in the mudflat for cultivation. A different policy is, however, applied to imports of live parti-colored clams from North Korea, South Korea and other countries: after several regular inspections on the imports each year, every shipment is allowed to be put directly on the Japanese market. The discriminatory practice on Chinese shellfish has caused much inconvenience to the Japanese importers of Chinese products, increased their incidental costs, and reduced the quality and freshness of Chinese fishery products, thus cutting the competitiveness of Chinese exports and incurring heavy economic losses to Chinese enterprises. China hopes that the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare will put an end the soonest possible to the discriminatory practice of time-consuming inspection of toxins on Chinese exports of live parti-colored shellfish by either recognizing the certification issued by the Chinese inspection and quarantine authorities or treating Chinese exports in line with Korean exports.

3.6 Trade remedies

By the end of 2005, Japan has initiated four trade remedy measures to restrict Chinese exports to Japan, namely, the anti-dumping investigation on siliconmanganese, the safeguard investigation on cotton silk, the safeguard investigation on green Chinese onion (allium fistulosum or negi), fresh mushroom (lentinus edodes or shiitake) and rush for tatami matting (igusa), and the safeguard investigation on towels.

Of all the major trading partners of China, Japan is one of the few countries that seldom launch trade remedy investigation on Chinese exports. However, every safeguard investigation initiated by Japan involves an important Chinese commodity in trade with Japan and affects a large amount of trade volume. For example, the anti-dumping investigation on siliconmanganese involves the least amount of trade volume, but still comes to nearly US$ 50 million, whereas the rest three safeguard investigations each put more than US$ 100 million at risk.

Because of the joint efforts made by China and Japan, bilateral economic and trade relations have maintained a continued and speedy growth for the past fours since China's accession to the WTO. In recent years, the Japanese government has come under mounting pressure from domestic industries to launch trade remedy measures against Chinese exports. China has received pre-warning messages on many occasions that Japan might initiate anti-dumping or safeguard investigations on eels, chemical fibers, bicycles and textile products imported from China.

Japan has not, to date, acknowledged the status of China as a complete market economy, which is not conducive to the healthy development of economic and trade relations between the two countries and does not help to solve China's huge deficit in trade with Japan. China hopes that Japan will grant China the status of a complete market economy as early as possible.

3.7 Export restrictions

Japan has put in place the so-called "catch-all" security safeguard export control regime. Under the regime, the Japanese government will collect relevant information and make up a "catch-all" list of foreign companies subject to export control. Japanese companies shall seek "prior consultation" with the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry before exporting sensitive goods or technologies to a foreign company named on the list. The implementation of the regime lacks transparency and fairness. Japan once accused some Chinese companies of engaging in proliferation activities, which severely affected the normal trade of the Chinese companies with Japan. The Chinese side has repeatedly taken up the issue with the relevant Japanese authorities, hoping that Japan will enhance its transparency and fairness in implementing the regime.

In addition, the restrictions on the supply of technologies as stipulated in the Foreign Exchange Ordinance cover a wide range, and the criteria for technologies subject to examination and approval before export are far from being transparent. In the licensing process, the exporting company is asked to provide the government with a large number of various documents, some involving its business secrets. It often takes a lengthy period of time before an approval is granted, which greatly adds to the cost of both importers and exporters. These restrictive measures impede the investment and technology cooperation between Chinese and Japanese companies.

3.8 Barriers to trade in services

Japan offers great protection to its domestic construction market. Internal tender is held for large-scale construction projects, while international tender is invited for only a limited number of construction projects such as the construction of gardens, civil engineering, embassy and corporation buildings, but with demanding requirements on foreign bidders as regards construction period, technical superiority and human resources. According to the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law, Japan does not allow foreign construction workers entry into Japan, and only permits managerial and technical staff of the bid-winning foreign company to enter Japan. Both the exorbitant cost of labor and the high offer of subcontractors add to the construction costs of the bid-winning foreign companies. Because of this, some bid winners from foreign countries are eventually forced to withdraw from the projects.

3.9 Unjustifiable protection of intellectual property right

To prevent the outflow overseas of high-quality plant species and to protect domestic agriculture, the Japanese Diet passed an amendment to the Agricultural Seeds and Seedlings Law on 10 June 2003, which came into force on 1 July of the same year. The amendment includes the extension of the scope of activities subject to prosecution and punishment, covering infringement upon not only agricultural seeds and seedlings but also harvests thereof, and the raise of penalties to strengthen law enforcement against intellectual property rights violations. Correspondingly, Japan also amended its Customs Tariff Law, requiring that the customs may ban the imports of agricultural products, if they are found to intrude upon the Japanese cultivator's rights, that is, the exclusive right acquired through the registration of a new plant breed, including the right to produce, license, import and export the seed or the harvest thereof.

On 14 March 2005, Japan promulgated the Notification of the Agricultural Seeds and Seedlings Law Enforcement Regulation and the Ordinance of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (G/TBT/JPN/140). The government agency in charge of this matter is the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and the date of approval is June 2005. The notice requires the labeling of the application of agricultural chemicals, the name of the active composition of agricultural chemicals and the amount of the active composition. In addition, new species of plant seeds and seedlings have been added. Such a labeling will, no doubt, increase the cost of inspection, cause greater technical and economic burdens on the companies involved, and constitute a de facto trade barrier to foreign enterprises which are not very familiar with this measure. The Japanese government should revise this measure to ensure equal treatment to both domestic and foreign companies, take into full consideration the current technological and productive situations of developing countries, and grant preferential treatment and appropriate transitional period to developing countries.

In recent years, agricultural exchange and cooperation between China and Japan have become increasingly closer. To extricate themselves from the predicament of the graying farm population, the costliness of labor, the na rrowness of cultivated fields, and crop failures caused by bad weather, Japanese enterprises have come to China, engaging in cultivation business through contract cultivating and contract purchasing. Japanese importers also import agricultural products from China on condition that they are of Japanese plant species, and ask Chinese farmers to buy seedlings provided by them in order to shift all the burdens of capital risks in buying the seedlings, cultivation risks, and sales risks to Chinese farmers and enterprises. China is very concerned with the impact that the above regulation may have on the bilateral trade in agricultural products.

3.10 Other barriers

3.10.1 Social security insurance and pension insurance for Chinese staff in Japan One of the problems troubling Chinese- funded firms in Japan is that of social security insurance and pension insurance for their Chinese staff working in Japan. According to the relevant Japanese laws and regulations, these employees should take up social security insurance and join pension insurance in Japan, but they have already been covered by social security and pension insurance in China. Therefore, the double insurance, as a result, adds to the costs of Chinese-invested companies in Japan. In addition, according to the relevant Japanese laws and regulations, the annuities paid by the Chinese employees will not be refunded if they come back to China after their stay in Japan for a few years. China hopes that Japan will amend the relevant regulations to relieve the burden on Chinese-funded enterprises in Japan.

3.10.2 Business visas

Japan has always adopted very strict standards when issuing short-term business visas to the Chinese. Visa applications by Chinese business people, planning to go to Japan to take part in an international trade fair or to pay a visit to a Chinese-invested enterprise in Japan at its invitation, are often subject to a prolonged approval period without any apparent reason or rejected and delayed on the ground of incomplete application materials. The inability of the Chinese business people to arrive in Japan on time has resulted in the loss of business opportunities and economic losses as well. In addition, work visas of the Chinese personnel in Chinese-funded companies in Japan have to be renewed each year, and the requirements for renewal application materials are too arbitrary, change almost year by year, and lack transparency, which has brought great inconveniences to their business operations. Sometimes the Chinese business people going to Japan for training programs under the equipment import contract cannot obtain visas, thus affecting the smooth execution of the contract and posing an obstacle to the long-term cooperation between Chinese and Japanese enterprises. China hopes that the relevant Japanese authorities will try to improve their efficiency and transparency in business visa issuance, release relevant information in the English language on the websites of the related government agencies, relax the standards in issuing short-term business visas, further clarify and simplify the procedures of visa issuance, and provide facility for the visits of business people between the two countries.

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