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” (21-28.Jan, 2014)

 The 186th ordinary session of the Diet was convened last week on
January 24. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the same day gave general
policy speech in both Houses of the Diet. While Abe stressed his
economic policy dubbed “Abenomics” as the top priority task, he also
mentioned his longstanding policies of reinterpreting the Constitution
as to lift the ban on the right to exercise collective self-defense
and others.

*The state of deliberations in both Houses and committees are
 available from the following websites.can be seen.
 House of Representatives Internet TV:
 Live broadcasts and video recordings of the deliberations in the
 House of Councillors (Japanese only):

 Regarding the ordinary session as “Diet to Realize a Positive Cycle,”
Prime Minister Abe stressed that he would connect corporate profits to
expansion of employment and increase in wages especially in the local
areas and small- and middle-sized enterprises (SMEs) so that everybody
in this country can feel the economic growth firsthand. As to the
concerns on negative economic effects of the consumption tax hike
scheduled in April this year, Abe emphasized that the Cabinet prepared
preventive measures in the 5.46 trillion yen of supplementary budget
submitted to the Diet on January 24 along with the initial budget for
FY 2014, and requested that the opposition parties cooperate with
passage of both the budgets during the ordinary Diet session. Taro Aso,
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, also stated his view
that Japanese economy has firmly turned upward and that the Cabinet
will make efforts to alleviate impacts of the tax-hike.

 Abe stated that the Cabinet would further make efforts to support
companies pioneering new markets by advancing regulatory reforms and
tax reforms to expand investment or research and development. In
particular, Abe vowed that the selection of the National Strategic
Special Zone will be finalized by March and the abolishment of special
corporate tax reduction for reconstruction after the great disaster
which is one year earlier than originally scheduled. The Cabinet
officially approved the action plan in relation to the industrial
competitiveness on the same day to implement the growth strategy
within three years of the concentration period.
 Also, Abe announced promotion of women, for instance to increase the
ratio of newly recruited national public servants to 30% from 2015, as
well as establishment of a private-public infrastructure import
organization to developing countries and to support challenging R&D
projects that might change the country’s socioeconomic landscapes.

 In his speech, Abe emphasized “strategic top-diplomacy” and
“diplomacy with panoramic view on the globe” based on his diplomatic
experience of visiting 30 countries and held 150 meetings with foreign
leaders. Abe stressed significance of the concept of “proactive
contribution to peace,” and at the same time, appealed that Japan’s
door to dialogue is always open but not to concede with talks with
conditions particularly with China and South Korea with which Japan’s
relation has been tensing over the territorial or historical issues.

 With regard to national security, Abe announced to consider
reinterpretation of the pacifist Constitution based on reports to be
submitted by the Advisory Panel on Reconstruction of the Legal Basis
for Security in April. Regarding relocation of Futenma Air Station to
Henoko, based on approval by Okinawa governor on landfill application
to increase runway of the base, Abe vowed to swiftly advance the
procedures while mentioning that he would make efforts to reduce
burden on Okinawan people.
 Also on the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) issue raised by
China, Abe stressed that Japan would never accept such a unitary
coercive measure to change the status quo of the Asia Pacific region.

 On the energy issue including nuclear power, Abe stated that there is
no restarting of the nuclear reactors unless they meet the safety
standard of the Nuclear Regulatory Authority that is of the highest
strictness in the world, and to decrease Japan’s dependency on the
nuclear power as much as possible. It seems that Abe remained in a
cautious tone regarding the nuclear power issue as there awaits Diet
debates and discussions soon. Abe also stressed that the central
government will take initiatives in decommissioning the nuclear
reactors and countermeasures to the contaminated water, without
letting Tokyo Electric Power Co. handle the issues alone.

 The Diet Debate kicks off on January 28. The interpellation sessions
with party leaders will be held in the Lower House on January 28-29
and in the Upper House on January 30-31. The opposition Democratic
Party of Japan and Japan Communist Party will take confrontational
tactics especially over the special intelligence protection
legislation pushed through by the ruling camp in the extraordinary
session, as well as Abe’s visit to Yasukuni Shrine late last year, or
Abe’s view on employment, social security, nuclear issue, etc.

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