Transparency International (TI) and Transparency International Japan (TI Japan) today released a National Integrity System (NIS) Country Study of Japan. The study found that the reform programmes implemented by the Japanese government in the past 10 years, including deregulation measures adopted mainly for activating markets and privatisation of some major public corporations, have helped to a certain extent to curb corrupt practices in the public and private sectors. However, certain issues such as corruption in political finance, and practices including amakudari (golden parachuting) and dango (bid-rigging) in particular, need to be addressed urgently.
The NIS consists of the key institutions, laws and practices that contribute to integrity, transparency and accountability in a society. When it functions properly, the NIS combats corruption as part of the larger struggle against abuse of power, malfeasance, and misappropriation in all its forms. The NIS approach provides a framework with which to analyse both the extent and causes of corruption in a given national context, as well as the adequacy and effectiveness of national anti-corruption efforts. By diagnosing the strengths and weaknesses of a particular integrity system, an evaluation based on the NIS can help inform anti-corruption advocacy and reform efforts.
The NIS study identified three top-priority areas recommended for further attention in the National Integrity System to improve its efficiency: (1) strengthening enforcement capability, (2) taking a corruption-type-specific approach and (3) greater disclosure of information and an awareness-raising campaign.
TI Japan Chairman Mr Tatsuro Kuroda noted, “The reports are used by TI National Chapters and other anti-corruption actors to share experiences and to enhance their strategy to combat corruption. This is especially important due to the increasingly cross-border nature of corruption. TI Japan hopes that this report will be helpful not only for TI Chapters but also all parties who are trying to combat corruption and achieve a world where justice prevails”.
The NIS study of Japan is one of more than 55 country studies undertaken by TI National Chapters and was undertaken in the framework of a regional project to analyse the NIS of 9 countries in East and Southeast Asia including Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
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Minoru O’uchi, Director, Transparency International Japan