For the purposes of this paper, the barriers to an open Japanese market will be divided into two categories: Direct Official Barriers, and Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs). The first category consists of positive restraints on imports such as tariffs and quotas. In response to Western criticism the Japanese government has, since the early 1960s, undertaken measures to dismantle gradually the aggressive protectionist wall which may have been necessary to revive the Japanese economy after the Second World War. In fact, in terms of quotas and tariffs, many observers presently consider Japan to be less protectionist than many North American and European countries. Despite these trade liberalization measures, Western complaints have not ceased, largely because of the continued presence of barriers contained in the second category, namely, those of a nontariff nature. Non-tariff trade barriers, the more obvious tariff and quota restrictions, are barriers "that have the effect of restricting or modifying the volume, composition, and direction of international trade".
David Cohen & Karen Martin, Western Ideology, Japanese Product Safety Regulation and International Trade, 19 U. Brit. Colum. L. Rev. 315 (1985), http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/441/.