Japan's approach to cartel control, and its antitrust enforcement system in general, is in transition in two senses. First, after ten years at the helm, Kazuhiko Takeshima stepped down in late 2012 from his post as Chairman of the Japan Fair Trade Commission. Early indications are that his successor, Kazuyuki Sugimoto, will emphasize continuity as opposed to ambitious novel projects. In this sense, the transition to new leadership is unlikely to be of a transformative character. Our focus in this paper, however, is on a deeper process of change which began to take root in the 1990s and which has flourished in the last decade under the generally shrewd direction of Mr Takeshima. In this period, Japanese antitrust has finally come of age after half a century of vicissitudes with largely disappointing results.