Japan's Ministry of Transport and Ministry of Foreign Affairs have filed a written objection to China's Ministry of Communications demanding withdrawal of draft regulations on bills of lading and freight rates. The Ministry of Communications wants to make it mandatory for shipping firms to register bills of lading and file freight rates, according to Japanese news reports. The ministry also wants to assess rates and provide exemptions to some lines. Foreign operators are concerned they will not be exempted. The draft regulations, which have met strong objections from the United States and South Korea - also include punitive rules involving fines. The Japanese Shipowners Association has objected that the bill of lading registration and filing procedures for freight rates were incompatible with commercial practices of international shipping, and ran counter to the international trend toward deregulation.