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”(18-25.Mar, 2014)

 Last week on March 20, 95.88 trillion yen of initial budget for next
fiscal year was approved in the Upper House by majority and thus
passed into legislation. The ruling Democratic Party of Japan, Your
Party, Japan Restoration Party and Communist Party voted against the
 The budget entails 30.51 trillion yen for social security (+4.08%
from this year), 5.96 trillion yen for public works including disaster
management like South Sea trough earthquakes (+12.9%), 4.88 trillion
yen for national security and defense including measures to China and
North Korea (+2.8%), 5.96 trillion yen for promotion of science and
technology (+1.4%). Combined with 5.46 trillion yen of the
supplementary budget enacted in February, the amount of government
spending exceeded 101 trillion yen. The government plans to implement
both the spending simultaneously so that possible negative impacts of
the consumption tax hike from April 1 on the country’s economy will
be alleviated. The government schedules to release numerical progress
of the budget soon.

*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:

 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, having called the current ordinary session
as “Diet to achieve positive cycle”, once again showed decisiveness
to make efforts toward recovering the country’s economy as the top
priority in a press conference held right after passage of the budget.
Abe also stated he would try to minimize negative economic effects of
the consumption tax hike to 8%. With regard to growth strategy, Abe
showed strong willingness toward reforms of vested interests that have
been described as solid as bedrock, along with the National Strategic
Special Zones whose designation will be announced within this March.
Furthermore, in eye of new growth strategy scheduled in June, Abe
mentioned a corporate tax reduction, along with women’s promotion in
the society and agricultural reforms, as possible effective measures
but avoided detailed explanation; perhaps for considering different
views expressed by the finance minister Aso who has taken cautious
attitudes toward a corporate tax reduction.

 In the meantime, four other budget-related bills (revised income tax
act, local corporate tax act, revised local tax act, revised local
subsidy act) were approved in the Upper House and thus passed into
legislation, also. These entailed abolishment of special tax-increase
for reconstruction after the Great East Japan Earthquake one year
earlier than scheduled and other supportive measures to SMEs.

 On a country’s new basic plan on energy policy, although the ruling
parties roughly agreed in a working team to regard the nuclear power
as the country’s “important base-load resource”, they are yet to
reach an agreement on numerical targets of renewable energy for
multiple views within the ruling parties. While New Komeito has
insisted specifying a numerical target in eye of decreasing
dependencies on the nuclear power, Liberal Democratic Party has shown
a passive attitude. The parties gave up on reaching a conclusion in a
meeting on March 18, and while the parties will have a discussion on
whole picture of the new plan including operation of Monju, a
prototype fast-breeder reactor, it is yet known whether the
discussions will be settled in March. Sources view that discussions
and Cabinet’s approval will be delayed until sometime in April.


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