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).


What is “National Strategic Special Zones” ?

Chronology -- National Strategic Special Zones 

April 2013: The idea was proposed at the governments Industrial Competitiveness Council by Prof. Heizo Takenaka.

May 2013: “National Strategic Special Zones Working Group was formed under the Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications.

June 2013: The government decided to establish the National Strategic Special Zones. 
        (Japan Revitalization Strategy approved by Cabinet on June 14)

August/September 2013: The government solicited proposals by private companies and local governments, and shortlisted 15 items as candidates for the initial list of regulatory reform measures applied in the special zones.

October 18, 2013: The government announced the initial list of regulatory reform measures.

November 5, 2013: The government decided and submitted the Bill on the National Strategic Special Zones to the Diet session.

Proposal by Prof. Heizo Takenaka 

 At the governments Industrial Competitiveness Council on April 2013, the idea was proposed.

Purpose: Create the best business environment in the world, first, within the special zones;  then, spread nationwide

Revitalize the special zones as showcases for drastic reform of regulations, including so-called bedrock regulations and taxes,

To achieve such reforms, create framework in which Prime Minister takes initiative;
  - Establishment of Minister in charge of Special Zones
  -Headquarter integrating three parties (central government, local government and business) in each Special Zone  to act as quasi-independent government
  -Council on Special Zones chaired by Prime Minister

National Strategic Special Zones Working Group

○According to the suggestion in the Industrial Competitiveness Council, the government formed National Strategic Special Zones Working Group under Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications in May and started designing the new system.

  - HATTA, Tatsuo (Osaka University Professor Emeritus)
  - AKIYAMA, Sakie (Saki Corp. CEO)
  - KUDO, Kazumi (Coelacanth K&H Co. CEO)
  - SAKAMURA, Ken (Tokyo University Professor)
  - HARA, Eiji (Public Policy Planning & Consulting Co. President)

 Bill on the National Strategic Special Zones 

The Bill consists of two parts;
1) regulatory reform measures to be applied in the special zones
2) framework of the special zones

Issues to be discussed;
1) Is the list of regulatory reform measures insufficient, as many newspapers report?
2) Is the framework of the special zones designed well enough to ensure further deregulatory measures to be achieved and proper enforcement of such measures?

National Strategic Special Zones: Result of Focal 15 Items 


=Advanced, ×=Not Advanced, =Partly Advanced

Menu of Regulatory Reform
1.Medical Care

(1)Practice by Foreign Doctors
Paved the way for foreign patients
  ‘to Japanese patients’ left behind
(2)Regulation on Number of Beds

(3)Treatment not Covered by Public Insurance

(4)New Medical Schools

Specification of Working Condition, Terminable Contract, Working Hours
Achieved the original aim of ‘specification of working condition.’
’terminable contract’ to be programmed nationally in the next Diet
’working hours’ left behind
(privately managed public schools)

4.City Planning


(2)area management

(3)residential apartments for accommodation


(1)Agricultural Committee
(2)credit insurance
(3)expansion of farmland use
(4)regulation on farmland ownership
6.Local Assembly
Eligibility for Election
requiring further considerations nationally
7.Historical Buildings

Framework of the National Strategic Special Zones


So-called Bedrock Regulations 

1, Controlled sectors

Quantitative Control
Price Control
Entry Control
Medical Care
Number of beds
Medical fee
Corporate entry
Nursing Care
Total quantity
Nursing fee
Corporate entry
Rice production control
Corporate entry
School Education
Council on private schools
Corporate entry
(power, gas)
Fully distributed cost method
Regional monopoly

2, Barriers preventing human resources from moving to growing industries from declining industries

    -  restrictive labor rules, such as dismissal rules

    -  poor corporate governance

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