Washington International Law Journal


In November 1997, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development ("OECD") adopted the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions ("OECD Convention"). The preamble of the OECD Convention states that "bribery is a widespread phenomenon in international business transactions, ... which raises serious moral and political concerns, undermines good governance and economic development, and distorts international competitive conditions." All member countries signed the OECD Convention and thus were committed to implement it via the passage of domestic legislation by December 31, 1999. The Japanese promulgated new anti-bribery provisions to satisfy the mandates of the OECD Convention. However, when compared to the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the new Japanese provisions continue to put U.S. companies at a disadvantage when competing with Japanese companies in foreign markets. Additionally, the Japanese legislative efforts to date are not in keeping with the spirit of the OECD Convention and are probably insufficient to meet the Convention's standards.

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