Investment Trusts Association, Japan (JITA)

The Investment Trusts Association, Japan, was established in July 1957 under a license of the Minister of Finance, given pursuant to Article 34 of the Civil Code.

Its original purpose was "to promote the sound development of securities investment trusts and to encourage the securities investments by ordinary investors, and thus to contribute to the proper management of the Japanese economy." However, because of its limited purpose and the voluntary nature of its statutory status, the effectiveness of its activities had been necessarily limited.

Growing concern gave rise to requests to redefine the character of the Association as a guardian for protecting investors. When the Securities Investment Trust Law was amended in August 1967, the new chapter about the Association was added into the Law, and the self-regulatory function was given to the Association. This amendment vested the Association with power to adopt the self-regulatory rules which would strengthen its supervisory ability. The Association revised its purpose as "to protect investors and to contribute to the sound development of securities investment trusts" in line with new provision of the amended Law.

The amendment to the Securities and Exchange Law in December 1998 has permitted the registered financial institutions such as banks and insurance companies to distribute securities investment trusts. In this connection, the amendment to the Securities Investment Trust Law in December 1998 made it possible for them to become the member of the Association in addition to the existing investment trust management companies and securities companies. Further, this amendment added the settlement of complaints from investors to the business of the Association. Therefore, the Association set forth the internal rule for dealing with complaints and appointed staffs who give counsel to investors.

In November 2000, the purpose of the Association was revised again as "to protect investors and to contribute to the sound development of investment trusts and investment companies". In addition, the trust company that would act as the trustee of investment trusts of trustee-managed type has been able to become the member of the Association.