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Direction of Regulatory Reforms in the National Strategic Special Zones (draft)

※Government Decision on October 18, 2013

The government will advance the “National Strategic Special Zones” 
to create an environment in which it is easiest to do businesses in
the world to boost economic development by combining exceptional
measures from the viewpoint such as ‘international city to compete
with the world’ or ‘international innovation center of medical care’ 
to break through toward drastic regulatory and institutional reforms
to change the socioeconomic view of Japan.
In particular, the necessary legislative measures, including a
submission of the bill relating with the National Special Strategic
Zones, are to be taken in the extraordinary Diet session in the fields
of medical care, employment, education, city planning, agriculture and
historical buildings accordingly with the following directions.

1.Medical Care

◇establishing an ‘international medical center’ where the world’s
  excellent doctors are gathered and that provides the
  highest-standard medical services and where foreign residents
  staying or living in Japan or even people in the world would seek
  being treated. 

◇the bill to establish the National Strategic Special Zones to be
  submitted in the extraordinary Diet session will entail the
  following exceptional measures on the medical centers that expects
  certain numbers of foreign patients as ‘international medical
  center’ within the Special Zones. 

(1)Lifting the ban on medical treatments by foreign doctors 
     and nurses in the international medical centers 

・The government plans to expand the clinical training programs
  nationwide as institutional reform from the perspective of accepting
  high-skilled foreign doctors in the international medical centers. 
  Also, team-treatment s with foreign nurses combined with the
  existing clinical training programs will be available in the medical
  centers where the foreign doctors engage in treatments
・It is also expected that foreign residents will increase in this
  country, given possible effects of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. 
  Under the circumstance, the government will take measures such as
  expanding the subject countries to make bilateral agreements
  regarding doctors, expanding the number of doctors and accepting
  facilities, and lifting ban on medical treatments to foreigners in
  general in the Special Zones.

(2)Increase in the number of beds and floors by making 
     exceptions on the regulation over the number of beds

・It is expected that foreign residents will increase in this country,
  given possible effects of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. 
・In case of increasing the number of beds or newly composing them to
  provide high-standard treatments in the international medical
  centers, the headquarters to be established in each Special Zones
  will consider whether to admit the prefectural governments to add to
  the standard number of beds decided by the headquarters as eligible
  to provide the high-standard medical treatments. 

(3)Expansion of medical treatments not covered by public

・The government will construct an evaluation system to judge promptly
  possibility of admitting usage of medical supplies not allowed in
  Japanese medical centers providing as high standard of medical
  treatments as clinical central hospitals but approved in the
  countries where the medical standards are high. 

◇Consideration on establishment of new medical schools

・The government will consider possibility of establishing new medical
  schools after consultations with the related ministries, taking into
  considerations the possible effects of social security reform
  responding to the aged society and the original aim of the Special


◇The following measures will be taken and necessary provisions are to
  be entailed in the Special-Zones-bill to be submitted in the
  extraordinary session of the Diet in order that start-up and global
  companies can attract highly-skilled human resources and let them
  work skillfully and ambitiously. 

(1)Specification of Working Conditions

・The government will establish an ‘Employment Guidance Center’
  (tentative name) to make it easier for start-up and global companies
  to comprehend the employment rules in this country and to do
  businesses by an increased predictability so that the conflicts are
  to be deterred beforehand
・Also, the predictability will be improved and potential conflicts
  are to be deterred through an ‘employment guideline’ which is
  based on analysis and classification of the past court cases
・the Center, to be established under the unified headquarter in each
  Special Zone, will provide consulting and advisory services to the
  start-up and global companies at request from the preparation stage
  whether the labor management and the clauses of employment contracts
  are in line with the guideline mentioned above in order to
  contribute to their investment judgment
・The provisions above will be entailed in the Special Zones bill to
  be submitted in the extraordinary session of the Diet.

(2)Exception of Terminable Employment

・For example, the current legislation prohibits companies working on
  projects related to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics from hiring skilled
  workers with high salaries on basis of 7 year’s terminable working
・On this, the government will submit a bill in the 2014 ordinary
  session of the Diet after discussions in the labor policy committee
  on the necessary measures regarding employment contracts of
  the‘highly specialized’ employees with ‘comparatively high
  salaries’ engaging in important and temporary duties.
・The points above will be entailed in the bill to be submitted in the
  extraordinary session of the Diet.


◇The following deregulatory measures are to be taken in the Special
  Zones and necessary provisions are to be entailed in the bill to be
  submitted in the extraordinary Diet session. 

(1)Entry of Private Companies into Management of Public
     Schools (privately-managed public schools)

・There is an increasing need for raising global human resources
  through expansion of international baccalaureat or sports education,
  combined with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 
・Accordingly, the government will consider and take necessary
  measures within one year after legislation of the Special Zones bill
  after consultations with the related local governments to enable
  entry of private institutions into the management of public schools
  in the Special Zones while securing the quality and public nature of
  education from the viewpoint of providing diverse education in
  public schools. 

4.Urban and City Planning

◇The following deregulatory measures are to be taken in the Special
  Zones and necessary provisions are to be entailed in the bill to be
  submitted in the extraordinary Diet session.

(1)Relooking on the Land-use Regulations and Floor-Area-Ratio
     Regulations to Promote Urban Residential Buildings

・The government will promptly take exceptional measures such as that
  the central government initiates the city planning strategically and
  the unified headquarter decides the planning in the Special Zones to
  promote the urban designing to advance Tokyo as an international
  city toward the 2020 Olympics. The specific measures include a
  transfer of newly building residential apartments in urban areas to
  parts of office buildings. 

(2)Entry of Private Entities into Area Management
     (relaxation of road-use regulation to sophisticate the urban

・The government will relax the road-use standard so that private
  entities will be enabled to use the road spaces effectively such as
  to hold international events and build multilingual sign boards in
  urban areas or to open cafes.

(3)Exceptional Measures of the Hotel Business Act on the
     Accommodation Facilities

・It is expected that foreigners visiting and staying in Japan will
  increase, given possible effects of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
・Accordingly, the government will make exceptions to the Hotel
  Business Act regarding the paid housing facilities fulfilling
  certain conditions meeting needs of the foreigners even if their
  usages are less than for 30 days. 


◇The following deregulatory measures are to be taken in the Special
  Zones and necessary provisions are to be entailed in the bill to be
  submitted in the extraordinary Diet session.

(1)Application of Credit Insurance to Agriculture

・The agriculture combined with commercial and industrial activities
  will be enabled to raise funds more easily from the financial
  institutions by obtaining credits of the credit insurance
  associations premised on certain burdens on the prefectural

(2)Admission of Farmer’s Restaurants in Farmlands

・the government will relax the conditions for the farmers to open
  restaurants located in their own farmlands that provide the
  agricultural products or the goods manufactured and processed in
  the areas.

Also, the government will advance further considerations on
demarcation of the mayoral branch and agricultural committee in the
municipal governments as well as relaxation of farmland ownerships by
private entities. 

6.Utilization of Historical Buildings

◇The nationwide regulatory reforms are to be undertaken promptly.

(1)Exclusion from Application of the Building Standard Act to
     Utilize Historical Buildings such as Archaic Houses

・While many ‘historical buildings’ such as archaic private houses
  in many regions not officially designated as the cultural heritage
  are being abandoned lately, there is a rapidly-increasing need to
  utilize them as accommodations, restaurants, satellite offices, etc.,
  as spots for local promotion or international tourism. 
・Also, it is likely that an increasing number of foreigners will
  visit and staying in Japan, given possible effects of the 2020 Tokyo
・Accordingly, the government will design systems to enable new
  expertise councils (composed of experts on the utilization of
  historical buildings or the safety of the buildings) to admit
  exceptions to the Building Standard Act without the conventional
  individual screenings by the housing investigation committees in the
  local governments so that more historical buildings will be utilized
・Meanwhile, the government will consider institutional designs to
  share the relevant information and accept consultations from the
  local governments in order that the chiefs of fire stations can
  decide exceptional measures to the fire law’s 32th clause on more
  historical buildings smoothly. 
・Further, the Cabinet Office will consider cross-ministerial
  organizational arrangements to promote utilization of the historical
  buildings nationally to revitalize and accelerate the local economy
  and international tourism.

◇The following deregulatory measures are to be taken in the Special
  Zones and necessary exceptional provisions are to be entailed.

(1)Exceptional Measures of the Hotel Business Act on the
     Historical Buildings

・Parts of the building standards provided in the Hotel Business Act
  will be excluded on the historical buildings selected by the local
  government’s ordinances fulfilling certain conditions (For example,
  admitting management of hotels having no front desks as long as they
  have video cameras or contact desks operating 24 hours a day). 

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