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).


Toward Starting of National Strategic Special Zone

* Written by Eiji HARA, PPPC President

 The bill to establish the National Strategic Special Zones was
approved in the last extraordinary session of the Diet. Accordingly,
on December 20, there was an announcement of five private sector
members of the Special Zone Advisory Council including Heizo

 The National Strategic Special Zone is a plan to conduct regulatory
reforms within some districts experimentally. There were similar
institutions of special zones in the past, however, for limitations
caused by intermediary clerical coordination by the government
ministries, they could hardly cut their way into highly regulated
fields often dubbed bedrock.

 The aim of new Special Zone is to serve as breakthrough toward these
fields. One of the mechanisms to ensure such implementation is the
Headquarter of Special Zone (legally special zone committee)
to be established in each Zone. The committee serves as independent
mini-government where comprised of the minister-in-charge, local
leader and private sector members gather. The committee directly
receives on-spot voices on needs of regulatory reform. Then the
minister-in-charge takes the needs to the abovementioned Special Zone
Advisory Council for consideration. There, the minister-in-charge of
Special Zone and the minister having jurisdiction of said regulation,
along with private sector members, will have discussions and the Prime
Minister will finally decide how to advance the issues. As such, it
was designed to bypass oppositions from the iron triangle (of
bureaucracy, politicians and industry) with the bureaucracy at its

 The legislation enacted this time entailed relaxation of bed space
regulation, clarification of employment conditions, lifting
ban on publicly-owned privately-managed schools, exceptional
measures on floor-area ratio restriction, relaxation of
requirements for establishing agricultural corporations, etc., as
particular initial menu of regulatory reforms to be applied in the
Special Zones (further menu will be added by the above process). All
of them are the bedrock regulations which past administrations
attempted to tackle with and failed. While some media reported these
menu are small-scaled, they are just criticisms rooted from ignorance.

 The reason behind the fruitful advancement was that discussions on
the framework of the Special Zone Advisory Council took the lead in
substance. The unimaginably distinguished members including Taichi
SAKAIYA (special advisor to the Cabinet), TAKENAKA (chief in charge of
the Industrial Competitiveness Council) and HATTA (chairperson of the
National Strategic Special Zone Working Group) formed a de facto
negotiation team without leaving discussions on selection of
reform menu and on coordination process between ministries, and gained
the final decision at the Prime Ministers office in a meeting with
Prime Minister Abe and relevant ministers.

 The next phase is how the leaders operate the institution. The
Cabinet will be tested whether and how they open the breakthrough with
the Advisory Council as its arena after January.

No comments:

Post a Comment