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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,
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On Proceeding of National Strategic Special Zone(January 7, 2014)

 First meeting of the newly established National Strategic Special
Zone Advisory Council was held on January 7, and its five private
sector members, including Heizo Takenaka, jointly submitted a proposal
paper at the meeting.

On Proceeding of National Strategic Special Zone(January 7, 2014)

Reiko Akiike
Tatsuo Hatta
Ken Sakamura
Masahiro Sakane
Heizo Takenaka

1.Reaffirmation of the Aim of the National Strategic Special Zone

  The chief aim of institutional design of National Strategic Special
  Zones is to realize an economic growth by breaking through
  thebedrock regulations to which adequate reforms could not be
  accomplished by the past attempts of special zones for structural
  reforms or comprehensive special zones, as well as to achieve
  drastic tax reforms which is an equally challenging task through a
  manner initiated by the Prime Minister. The Special Zone will
  serve as a breakthrough for that purpose (it is expected that
  ambitious people, corporations, and local governments will play
  major role to realize advance models overcoming the bedrock
  regulations and initiate the economic growth while gaining returns

2.Principles of Operation of National Strategic Special Zone and
  Management of Special Zone Advisory Council Meetings

 ①thorough information disclosure
  sense of speed (close cooperation with Special Zone Working Group
    and regional committee, flexible management by utilizing of
    research committee by experts, etc.)
  promotion of competition among Special Zones (establishment of
    Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle, rescindment of Zones attaining inadequate

3.Issues to be Considered for the Moment

Short-term challenges
  I.Designation of Zones
    Toward designation of Zones in March, the Working Group should
    swiftly start selection process taking into consideration the
    following elements as basic rules for selection.
    i.Selection of regions having ripple effects that could
      eventually lead to growth of Japanese economy through
   ii.Selection of regions of actions that could undertake reforms
     of the bedrock regulations decisively and steadily with a sense
     of speed(premised on an appropriate evaluation of willingness
     and ability of regions)
  iii.Subject of designation should be either of the following 2 types
   ・“relatively broad designation based on prefectural or
    metropolitan scope
   ・designation of virtual zones in certain fields
    (zoning within certain field with explicit conditions)

 II.Launch of regional committee
  ・Following the designation of Zones in March, each zone should
   launch the regional committee as soon as in April
  ・Composition/membership should be as simple as to enable
   substantial discussions with the ministers (in addition to the
   minister-in-charge, the relevant ministers can participate the
   meetings). In particular, the membership requires high-rank
   delegate of private sector (well-known figure as promoter of the
   relevant special zones)

 III.Measures to be addressed in the next Diet session or thereafter
   (additional menu)
  ・The exceptional measures enacted in the last extraordinary Diet
   are no more than temporary initial menu, and it is predicted
   there will arise many challenges in implementing specific
   initiatives into practice in the future. Therefore, the Working
   Group should promptly review all the previous proposals and
   suggestions from the local governments and private companies and
   start advancing necessary coordination toward further
   legislative measures in the future Diet sessions including the
   next ordinary session with regard to the National Strategic
   Special Zone Act

 IV.Formulation of employment guideline
  ・The Working Group should immediately start discussions toward
   formulation of the employment guideline in March

Setting of mid-term target in eye of 2020
Discussions on mid-term targets should be taken place promptly in
  eye of 2020, including the Tokyo Olympic Games
For beginning, it should be arranged that ways to break through the
  remaining bedrock regulations should be opened at least in the
  special zone in the following 2 years as intensive period
Also, the special zone aims to conduct specific reforms within some
  boundaries of regional and business scope in a speedy manner, to
  review the result for further considerations, and to apply the
  achievements to national-level legislations. In this sense, the
  process and goal toward nationwide applications from the special
  zones should be clarified specifically
 (for example, a system to stimulate nationwide applications through
  competition of reforms among regions should be developed).

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