Japan has been both ahead of and behind the rest of the world with respect to the interoperability debate. It has been ahead on the unprotectability of interface specifications: the 1985 amendment to the Japanese copyright law, which extended protection to computer programs, expressly withheld protection from programming languages, rules and algorithms. The interoperability debate in Japan has centered on statutory language, particularly the 1985 software amendments and more proposals addressing reverse engineering. The controversy started innocently enough, with a July, 1993 press release from the International Copyright Office of the Copyright Division of the Cultural Affairs Agency. Although the Consultative Committee declined to take a firm position on reverse engineering, it responded strongly to the ultraprotectionist and US government position that the level of software protection in Japan was somehow inadequate. The Patent and Trademark Office confused decompilation with all other forms of software reverse engineering; it appears to use the terms interchangeably.