Top executives of telecommunications companies and NTT public relations accounts are engaged in a debate on X (Twitter) over the revision of the NTT Act.
Around the summer of 2023, discussions began within the government regarding the sale of NTT shares, with the aim of securing financial resources for defense costs. At the same time, as momentum for a review of the NTT Act has increased, NTT, which aims to abolish the NTT Act, and three telecommunications companies, including KDDI, Softbank, and Rakuten Mobile, who are in the absolute opposition, have held press conferences. Discussions have continued “indirectly” through such means as holding meetings.
NTT’s argument is that 40 years have passed since the start of the NTT Act, the business environment has changed, there is an obligation to disclose technology in research and development, and the reduction of fixed-line telephones. should be abolished.”
On the other hand, the three companies said that NTT’s parent company was the National Telephone and Telephone Public Corporation, and inherited its assets when it was privatized, and the amount of capital investment was approximately 25 trillion yen over the 30 years when the NTT was privatized. The current value is estimated to be over 40 trillion yen, and the company owns huge assets such as land, station buildings, tunnels, conduits, and utility poles. They argue that the competitive environment will be harmed.
On the 14th, when Asahi Shimbun reported that the Liberal Democratic Party’s NTT Law Review Project Team was “heading toward abolishing the NTT Law,” Rakuten Group Chairman Hiroshi Mikitani posted on X (Twitter) that it was the “worst foolish plan.”
I don’t think it’s insane to “abolish the NTT Act” and leave the one and only optical fiber network built with people’s tax dollars to a completely free private company. This is the worst foolish move to go in the opposite direction, even though communication costs, which had been soaring, including for mobile phones, have come down.
Softbank President Junichi Miyagawa also said, “It’s unfair to have President Mikitani create a rift with the government.” “The assets inherited by NTT were created with national taxes. They are important infrastructure that should originally be managed and operated by the government. The entrusted organization that manages it is a special corporation.We don’t know what kind of emergency will occur in the future 20 or 50 years from now.It is not appropriate as an asset to be handed over to the private sector.It is no good for the government to abdicate its responsibility.” Posted.
KDDI President Makoto Takahashi also said, “In this discussion, I feel strange that the topic of defense funding has suddenly changed hands, and the topic of abolishing the NTT Act has taken on a life of its own.”The optical fiber that was built with a large amount of tax money” “Simply abolishing the NTT Act, which stipulates the obligations of NTT as a special corporation with special assets, cannot be done from the perspective of fair competition or from the perspective of responding to emergencies.”
The top executives of the three telecommunications companies refuted NTT’s claims and the trend toward abolishing the NTT Act on X.
On the NTT side, on the morning of the 17th, the NTT Public Relations Office’s “This claim is nonsense because it belongs to the shareholders,” he refuted in strong terms. When KDD (predecessor of KDDI) separated from the Telephone and Telephone Public Corporation, it inherited the assets of the same, and when Japan Telecom, the parent company of Softbank, separated from the National Railways, it inherited the telecommunications assets of the National Railways. He also emphasized that “almost all optical fiber was installed after privatization, not by public corporations.”
In response to NTT’s rebuttal on X, Softbank President Miyagawa said, “Now is the time to have a thorough discussion on what the ideal situation should be.Instead of relying on political power, let’s have a thorough discussion to avoid any resentment between us.” ”, calling for direct dialogue with NTT. KDDI President Takahashi continued, “This is an issue that relates to the core of the telecommunications business, and is a fundamental and important issue related to fair competition, so I would like you to decide on the direction through public discussion.” We are calling on NTT to do so.