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” (3-10.Dec, 2013)

 The extraordinary Diet session convened on October 15 closed last
week on December 8. Although it had been scheduled to close on
December 6, raucous protests from the opposition to the controversial
state secrets bill entailing stricter penalty on information leaks by
government employees paralyzed discussions in the Upper House, leading
to that the ruling bloc werent able to hold voting on the bill on
that day. The ruling bloc of the Liberal Democratic Party and New
Komeito, in fear of seeing the bills drop in this session for overdue,
had no choice but to extend the session for two days. The motion to
extend was proposed and approved in the Lower House plenary session on
December 6.

*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

 Over the special intelligence protection bill, toward the end of
session, the opposition camp including Your Party and Japan
Restoration Party, once agreed on the bill in consultations, released
a joint announcement requesting the government for thorough discussion
on the bill, and DPJ, Social Democratic Party and Peoples Life Party
jointly took a confrontational tactic of moving a motion to dismiss
the Upper House Rules and Administration Committee Chairman Iwaki of
LDP. The ruling camp, in eye of pushing the bill through as soon as
possible, ignored the oppositions move and processed necessary
procedures one after another, such as interpellation with academic
references on Dec 3 and local hearing on Dec 4.
 On December 4, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unveiled his idea to
establish within the Cabinet Secretariat an information preservation
advisory panel and an information preservation oversight office
to check appropriateness of designating information as secret and its
removal and to sketch unified standards for designation respectively.
Abe explained that Prime Minister receives reports from the office,
comprised of vice-minister-class officials, then Prime Minister
consults with the experts panel every year. Also, an administrator
s post for public document archives and records will establish to
handle the information designated as state secret. While Abe insisted
this is a multilayered scheme to prevent arbitrary designations of
special intelligence, Banri Kaieda, leader of DPJ, strongly criticized
the idea as an information-hiding body composed of bureaucrats.

 The ruling bloc rushed the bill to a vote in the evening of December
5 in the Upper House Special Committee on National Security, which
approved the bill by majority amid roaring by opposition lawmakers. In
the meantime, in the revision consultations meetings among the ruling
bloc and JRP and Your Party, for the opposition from JRP that the
panel could not be regarded as a third-party monitoring organization
suggested by JRP, the parties reaffirmed to establish another
monitoring body within the Cabinet Office. Therefore, there will be
two third-party organizations in the government. The details will
be subject of further discussions until the enforcement of the
legislation. Also, the parties agreed to establish a monitoring body
in the Diet by exchanging document.

 The bill was accordingly put onto agenda of the Upper House plenary
session, though, the ruling coalition decided to delay voting on Dec 6
for the vigorous confrontation by the opposition camp. Opposition
parties had called for further deliberation and made last-ditch
efforts to block passage, including posing a no-confidence motion
against Abe's Cabinet earlier Friday, After that motion was voted down
in the more powerful House of Representatives, the ruling bloc rushed
the bill to a vote in the upper house which it also controls. JRP and
Your Party boycotted voting. The bill will be promulgated within this
month and will be enforced within a year from the day of promulgation.
The Cabinet sets forth a preparatory office in the Cabinet Secretariat
and accelerate preparation measures toward implementation of the
 On the other hand, LDP Secretary-General Shigeru Ishiba instructed
the partys Policy Research Council to give considerations on an
establishment of monitoring body in the Diet to prevent arbitrary
designation of state secrets. Discussions will be undertaken within
the ruling party, in eye of drafting bill for the next years Diet
session. Sources said that it will take form of amendments to the
current Diet act which has the provision with regard to
secret-meetings also stipulated in the Constitution. The ruling
coalition will call for opposition parties also to participate in

 Being influenced by an imbroglio over the special intelligence
protection bill, discussions over the bill to create National
Strategic Special Zones for economic growth had been suspended since
Nov 26 in the Upper House Cabinet Committee chaired by DPJ member. DPJ
had repeatedly rejected ruling coalitions requests to hold meetings
of the Committee by taking the bill as hostage to extend the session.
Finally, the ruling coalition moved a motion of no-confidence against
the Chair Mizuoka on Dec 4 in the Upper House plenary session, and
passed the motion on the next day. The Chairperson was replaced by
Shoko Santo of LDP, and the bill was approved in the Committee on Dec
6 and enacted on 7.
 The bill to boost the countrys industrial competitiveness was also
pended after being approved in the Upper House Economy and Industry
Committee. For this reason, the Chairman of Upper House Rules and
Administration Committee Iwaki held plenary session of the Upper House
with his authority on Dec 4, when the bill was passed into legislation.
Given the passage of the bill, the government schedules to have its
three-year implementation plans approved by the Cabinet as early as New Year.


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