【Research】Sequence of Discourse and Arguments Regarding Fishery Rights

September 10th, 2017
Norinchukin Research Institute Co., Ltd.
KAMEOKA Kohei, Researcher

On July 20, the Working Group on Fisheries was newly established within Japan’s Regulatory Reform Promotion Council. Going forward, the Working Group will discuss how to proceed with the deregulation of the fisheries industry. Here, I will review the development of the discourse on the deregulation of fishery rights (especially specific demarcated fishery rights), which is at the center of the debate on deregulation in the fisheries industry, up to the present.

1.Sequence of discourse on deregulation up to the present

The first demand for the deregulation of the fishery rights system was made by theJapan Economic Research Institute, a private institution, in its release of the document entitled “Expedite Drastic Strategic Reform of Fisheries that Preserve Japan’s Fish Diet (Urgent Recommendation)” in 2007. This recommendation stated that “the development of the fisheries industry and the revitalization of fishing villages will be difficult if done solely through coordination between fishermen/women”, and it went on to explain the need to “promote new entries into the fisheries industry under appropriate and transparent rules (legal system) for the protection of the marine environment and fishery resources”. As specific deregulation measures for that purpose, particularly in regard to fishery rights, the Japan Economic Research Institute proposed the elimination of barriers to entry into the aquaculture business and fixed gear fishery business, in other words, it proposed direct entry of non-local companies by altering eligibility for and priorities of licenses. In legal terms, this may be considered to mean (1) a review of the legal priority order for fishery rights licenses1 (Fishery Act) [note1], and (2) a review of the membership qualification requirements of fishery cooperatives2 (Fishery Cooperative Act) [note2].

Next, the document which mentioned the deregulation of the fishery rights system was the report entitled “Second Report Regarding Promotion of Regulatory Reform” issued in 2007 by Japan’s Council for Regulatory Reform. This report raised seven points regarding concrete measures, including (1) implementation of a survey on the actual situation regarding priorities of fisheries for fishery rights, (2) improvement of the management status of the licensing process for fishery rights, (3) ensuring the rigor of deliberations at…Link reading

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