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” (25.Mar-1.Apr, 2014)

 Last week on March 28, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe proposed numerical
targets of implementing the budget FY 2014 in order to minimize
possible negative impacts of the consumption tax hike from 5% to 8%
from April 1 to the countrys economy to all the ministers. The
subject of numerical targets is the 12 trillion yen including public
works projects. Abe requested that 40% of spending will be completed
by the end of June and 60% be undertaken by end-September.
 Regarding the fact that there are concerns that the tax-hike will
hamper individual consumptions and slow down the countrys nascent
economic recovery once again, while Prime Minister Abe admitted on
March 31 in the Upper House Audit Committee that the tax-hike might
have damages to the economy, he stressed that he would make all-out
efforts to drive the economy onto growth as early as in July by
alleviating negative influences with the 5.5 trillion yen of the
supplementary budget and quick spending of the initial budget for this
fiscal year. Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga also stated in a press
conference that the Cabinet would make every effort on economic
measures that will prevent the economy from declining.

 The upcoming challenges the Abe Cabinet will face include minimizing
and overcoming negative economic impacts likely to be caused by the
tax-hike and swiftly putting into place the growth strategy, including
revision of the growth strategy to be released in June. In particular,
it is vital for the Cabinet to break through the countrys regulatory
regimes which are often likened to solid bedrocks due to persistent
opposition from related industries and ministries, and to expand
created operational plans nationwide.

 On March 28, a government panel chaired by Prime Minister Abe selected
six areas as the National Strategic Special Zones where regulations
will be eased. The designated zones are the Tokyo area, covering Tokyo
and Kanagawa Prefecture as well as Narita, Chiba Prefecture; the
Kansai area, covering Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures; Niigata;
Yabu, Hyogo Prefecture; Fukuoka; and Okinawa Prefecture. In the Tokyo
zone, the metropolitan government is expected to ease restrictions
such as the ratio of total floor space to plot size near central Tokyo
stations to improve international competitiveness of the nations
capital. Narita is expected to collaborate with a university to create
an international medical department in a bid to turn the city into
one of the best medical service bases in the world. In the Kansai zone,
the government expects the city of Osaka to develop a hub for medical
innovation, including regenerative medicine centering on induced
pluripotent stem cells. The details of these two metropolitan economic
zones will be considered further. Meanwhile, Niigata and Yabu are
considering shifting part of their administrative work, currently
overseen by local agricultural committees, to their city governments
to promote the use of farmland. Fukuoka proposes to establish a labor
support center to help solve labor-management issues with the aim of
making it easier to do business in the city, particularly for foreign
companies. Okinawa Prefecture is likely to work on deregulation of
factors such as medical practices by foreign doctors and the tourism

 The government intends to obtain Cabinet approval for the
designations based on the National Strategic Special Zones Law in
April. It plans to set up a steering group for each special zone,
comprising representatives of central and local governments, and
companies, to devise deregulation projects. The special zones are
expected to go into operation this summer.

*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


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