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).


This Week’s “Nagata-cho” (5-12.Nov, 2013)

 Last week the Diet’s Lower House plenary session approved a bill to
establish a Japanese version of the U.S. National Security Council on
which the Cabinet puts special emphasis as headquarter for Japan’s
diplomatic and national security policy after making some revisions
accordingly with the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan’
requests on November 7 and the bill was sent to the Upper House. Yet,
DPJ’s request to obligate the government to record minutes of the
four ministers’ meeting was finally rejected and it ended in being
entailed in the bill’s supplementary resolution.

*The state of deliberations in both Houses and committees are
 available from the following websites. (Japanese only)
 House of Representatives Internet TV:
 Live broadcasts and video recordings of the deliberations in the
 House of Councillors:

 In the Upper House plenary session on November 8, it was decided to
establish a Special Committee for National Security. Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe stated in his speech that “the surrounding of Japan in
terms of security has increased in severity and the politics must take
a strong leadership to address the security policy further.” But the
ruling and opposition parties have yet reached an agreement on
schedules of discussion on the bill. Though with some points that the
parties haven’t agreed on, the idea of the bill obtains most parties’
approval in principle. so the NSC bill will likely be passed into
legislation by the end of this month.

 Accordingly, the Abe Cabinet had the special intelligence protection
bill to be discussed in the Lower House on November 8. At the same
time DPJ proposed a revision bill to information disclosure act as
counterproposal. On the same day, the Upper House Special Committee
took up both bills and there was a hearing with four experts on
November 13. Prime Minister Abe has emphasized urgency of its
legislation as tool to communicate with other countries, and Minister
Masako Mori stated that the bill sets in multi-layered system to
prevent designation of information as special intelligence from being
arbitrary. The Cabinet seeks to pass the bill within the current
ordinary session of the Diet, while the opposition parties are taking
confrontational stance for some inadequate points DPJ insists that it
won’t enter discussion unless DPJ’s revised information act is
discussed simultaneously. Japan Restoration Party released its own
counterproposal to the NSC bill exchanged it with LDP. LDP will see
whether to enter revision-discussion with Japan Restoration Party.

 On November 8, the bill to create National Strategic Special Zones
that the Abe Cabinet places special emphasis as an important measure
of growth strategy was submitted to the Diet. It aims to undertake
regulatory reforms in some limited areas in a top-down manner as
experiment to promote start-up companies and foreign investment in
Japan, to accomplish economic vitalization. Abe seeks an early passage
of the bill, and selection of 3-5 Special Zones will likely take place
as early as next year. The target of Special Zones as deregulation
items include the accommodation act, medical care act, building
standard act, road act, farmland act, etc., and also cabinet orders
and ordinances. The lawmakers will likely discuss over the legal
framework of Special Zones as well as subject items of the
deregulatory measures.

 Also, on the same day, both chambers of the Diet took voting on the
nomination of 29 personnel decisions of 12 organizations. Although DPJ
and several minor parties opposed to nomination of five personnel
arrangement as members of Board of Directors of Nihon Hoso Kyokai (NHK),
all the nomination including that of NHK was approved in both chambers
due to agreements of Japan Restoration Party, Your Party along with
the ruling coalition.

 This week had busy discussions on the special intelligence protection
bill, national strategic special zones bill, industrial
competitiveness bill, and social security reform bill in the Lower
House and the NSC bill and the electricity business reform bill in the
Upper House.
 With four weeks remaining in the Diet session, the Cabinet seeks to
accelerate discussions on the legislations while the oppositions have
taken confrontational attitude. Let’s see the Diet prospect carefully.

 Following is the state of ongoing deliberations on legislations in
the Diet.

■Deliberated Policies

As of November 8 (Fri.) based on the website of the House of
Representativesand other sources(
 *The links include Japanese websites only.


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