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”(26.Nov-3.Dec, 2013)

 Last week on November 27, a bill to establish a Japanese version of
National Security Council, which the Cabinet attaches a great
importance as control tower of Japan’s diplomatic and security policy,
was approved with other related bills by the majority in the plenary
session of the Upper House by obtaining agreements of the ruling
coalition, Democratic Party of Japan, Your Party, Japan Restoration
Party and other groups. Still, since the bill lacks a provision
regarding minutes of the meetings, the Special Committee on National
Security in both Houses added supplementary provisions requesting the
government to consider recording the minutes.

*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:

 The government launched the NSC on the day of enactment of the
legislation on December 4. In particular, “the four ministers’
meeting” by Prime Minister, Chief Cabinet Secretary, Ministry for
Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defense (chaired by Prime Minister)
will be regularly held twice a week, in an attempt to enable speedy
decision making in the diplomatic and security policy and to
consolidate information. Also, “emergency ministers’ meeting” will
also be established, which will composed of the ministers nominated by
Prime Minister, in order to prepare for emergency situations. The four
ministers’ meeting was held immediately held after enactment on Dec 4,
and will seek to compile the National Security Strategy, the country’
s basic guideline on the diplomacy and security within this year. In
the meantime, the conventional framework of “nine ministers’ meeting”
adding the Minister of Finance and Minister of Land, Infrastructure,
Transport and Tourism and others will have discussions on the new
National Defense Program Guidelines, another pillar of the defense
policy, which the Cabinet plans to approve next month after obtaining
approval of the NSC. NSC will engage in discussions on mid- and
long-term strategic themes including (1) relocation of Futenma Air
Station, (2) China’s ADIZ issue, (3) development of nuclear weapons
and missiles by North Korea, (4) territorial disputes, etc.

 The government schedules to launch NSC’s secretariat, National
Security Bureau, as early as in January next year. As its first head,
Abe will likely appoint Special Advisor to the Cabinet Yachi (former
administrative vice minister of Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and
Special Advisor to the Prime Minister Isozaki will be appointed as
Executive Secretary to the Prime Minister in charge of the NSC.
 National Security Bureau will consist of about 60 personnel from
MOFA, Ministry of Defense, Japan Coast Guard and other relevant
ministries and agencies. The secretariat’s organizational arrangement
will be according to six themes of (1) overall planning and
coordination, (2) communication and coordination with corresponding
departments and agencies of other countries handling intelligence, (3)
planning and coordination of security policies by themes and regions,
(4) communication with allies, including U.S., (5) China and North
Korea, (6) other regions. The secretariat will seek to consolidate
analyze pieces of information that have been acquired and reported
separately by each ministry before, and report to the four ministers’
meeting directly.
 The key for the bureau to function well will depend on how and to
what extent it can recruit human resources specialized in the field of
intelligence from at home and abroad.

 With regard to the controversial special intelligence protection bill,
the Upper House entered discussions on the bill on Nov 27. The
opposition have been repelled by the ruling bloc which had pushed the
bill through the Lower House, and have taken confrontational attitudes.
The largest opposition Democratic Party of Japan’s leader confronted
Prime Minister at the party leaders’ debate held on December 4, and
Your Party and Japan Restoration Party, although once agreed on the
bill in the revision consultation, turned their attitudes in the Upper
House for the coercive tactic taken by the ruling coalition of LDP and
New Komeito.

 In a rush to see passage of the new secrecy bill within the current
Diet session, the ruling coalition made Chairman of the Upper House’s
Special Committee on National Security take up the bill in face of
backlash by the opposition camp including Your Party once approved the
revision on November 28. The discussion idled on Nov 29 for a fuss
over responses of the ruling bloc.


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