Public Policy Planning & Consulting Co. (SEISAKU-KOUBOU) is a public policy consulting firm based in Tokyo, covering broad policy areas such as economic policy, fiscal policy, regulatory policy, administrative reform, international trade and investment, etc.
PPPC provides consulting and briefing services to the clients in the central/local governments, Diet, local assemblies and the private sector.

This blog is aimed at providing general information, latest updates and some of our analytical reports about Japan's public policy in English.
The contents include;
- updates on some important government councils, especially those in which our executive officers serve as the members,
- weekly reports on latest news in Nagata-cho, the political center in Japan, (partially).
- analytical reports and articles by our members and distinguished experts outside the firm,(partially).


Opinion on the Cabinet’s Industrial Competitiveness Bill

 On November 12, Eiji HARA, President of our company, Public Policy
Planning and Consulting Co., attended a meeting of the Diets Economy,
Trade and Industry Committee in the Lower House and stated his opinion
regarding the Cabinets Industrial Competitiveness bill on which
deliberations are taken place in the Committee.

 Following is a translation of the document distributed in the Committee.


On the Industrial Competitiveness Bill (November 12, 2013)

Eiji Hara

1.Overall Framework
It is sound in that the bill is pillared on regulatory reform
  and industrial metabolism as well as that the bill limits the
  time span for intensive efforts.

2.Regulatory Reform
<Past Efforts on Regulatory Reform>
National level: Regulatory Reform Committee (1998-), Panel for Total
  Reform on Regulations (2001-), Committee on Regulatory Reform and
  Market Opening (2004-), commission for regulatory and institutional
  reforms in Government Revitalization Unit (2010-), Regulatory Reform
  Council (2013-)
Special Zones: Special Zones for Structural Reform (2002-),
  Comprehensive Special Zones (2011-)

Every administration in the past showed the stance of generally
  accepting such ideas.
  However, the common challenge has been how to get into the
  particulars after the generals soon and to what extent.

Exceptional measures to corporate evidence
Will it really achieve the regulatory reform effectively?
Past efforts (either national or in special zones) left the final
  coordination to the Cabinet, a highest-ranked decision-making body.
National Strategic Special Zones: because such efforts did not make
  visible achievements, the Working Group attempted to elaborate a
  framework on that purpose (e.g., Advisory Council on Special Zones
  and the HQs in each Special Zones, the arrangement that relevant
  ministers so not even attend the meeting.)
・‘Exceptional measures on records with corporate evidence => is it
  only that a supervisory government authority over an industry will
  request the regulatory authority of that same industry to request
  for taking measures?

Selection of reform menu appropriate?
Past efforts and the National Strategic Special Zones: transparent
  process of soliciting proposals and selection of them
Exceptional Measures on Records with Corporate Evidence (?)

Specific Images of Reform Menu and Sense of Speed?
Past Zones and National Strategic Special Zones: Reform menus
  were shown at the initial stage (=> in case of National Strategic
  Special Zones, specific deregulatory measures will likely be taken
  in next spring).
・‘Exceptional measures on records with corporate evidence => no
  release of the initial menu
  (items requiring legislative amendments will be arranged after the
  ordinary Diet session, implementation of the arrangement will be
  further later?)

Relation with National Strategic Special Zones
 Even in the National Strategic Special Zones, there discussed an
 idea of virtual special zones which is not restricted by locational
There is an aspect that the regulations are in fact newly enhanced
  behind the discussion of deregulations (e.g., loan business,
  internet sales of medicines, etc.)

3.Industrial Metabolism
There were such discussions to boost metabolism of the industries in
  the government panels including the Industrial Competitiveness
  Council as the following:
Enhancement of corporate governance: highly independent outside
  executives, introduction of Japanese version of Stewardship Code,
Labor Market Reform: Reform of Hello Work, Specification of
  Dismissal Rule, etc.

The urgent tasks include, in addition to the governments
 “promotion of industrial reorganization and stimulation of
 investments in venture businesses, these measures mentioned in the
 paper above.

<excerpt from LDP interim report by Japan Revitalization HQ, May 2013>

 Enhancement of corporate governance, especially through introduction,
proactive nomination and appointment, of outside executive directors.

 Compared to other leading economies, it has been pointed that Japan
has been losing in the international competition due to the excessive
domestic competition because there are too many competitors in a same
industry. Nonetheless, seemingly, the more problematic is the presence
of managers, stockholders and financial institutions that have
accepted the low profit-rates.
 Normally, executive directors should bear responsibility to renew
administration and cause metabolism by giving critical comments
concerning corporate insolvency or industrial reorganization as
representative of the stockholders in case that the managers of the
company continued low-profit-making businesses.
 This is to say, that, a steady introduction of autonomous, external
directors, will be a step toward realizing industrial reorganization 
and metabolism in an autonomous manner.

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