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”(1-8.Apr, 2014)

 The Cabinet on April 4 approved and submitted a bill to revise the
local educational administration act to advance reforms of the Board
of Education in local governments.
 The bill entails plans to (1) establish a new post of “education
chief” which undertakes functions of existing Chairman of Board and
secretary-general concurrently and appointed by local leaders with
consents of assembly for three year’s term, (2) that final
responsibility of educational administration (as executor) will
continue to reside in the Board, and (3) to make it compulsory for
local governments to establish a full-time comprehensive panel that
discusses and makes important decisions with regard to education such
as budget, ordinances and basic guidelines chaired by mayor/governor
and composed of intellectuals. It also arranged that selection of
textbooks and personnel matters of teachers be exclusively handled by
the Board in a bid to prevent excessive intervention by political leaders.

 The ruling coalition of Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito seek
an early passage of the bill, eager in holding consultative
negotiations with the opposition parties. Still, the opposition
Democratic Party of Japan and Japan Restoration Party had agreed on
April 1 to submit a joint counterproposal to the same Diet that plans
to abolish the Board and entitle the educational authority to
mayor/governor uniformly. The counterproposal also suggests
establishment of a third party monitoring body on educational
administration. For the wide gap on the view of reforms, it isn’t
clear yet whether the confronting sides can reach an agreement during
the current ordinary session of the Diet.

*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 :

 On Japan’s new basic plan on energy policy that sets the country’s
mid- and long-term directions,
 A working team of the ruling coalition approved a draft plan on April
3. The draft has inherited recognition of nuclear power as the country’
s “important base-load resource,” suggesting that the Cabinet will
seek resuming operation of the country’s nuclear power plants. With
regard to renewable energy, the ruling coalition agreed to avoid
mentioning specific numerical targets but to entail expressions to
“exceed goals of the past government decisions” to show an attitude
to accelerate introduction of renewable energy in a bid to decrease
dependency on the nuclear power. The Cabinet eyes increasing the rate
of renewable energy to 30% by 2030 as goal of efforts, and ministerial
meeting to be established after a Cabinet approval on the plan will
continue further discussions on the energy policy, including numerical
targets of renewable energy and future power composition.

 As the inter-coalition discussions have roughly been settled on the
educational reform, new energy plan and the Three Principles of Arms
Export, the next focus will shift to inter-coalition coordination on
controversial issues like a Diet monitoring body on special
intelligence protection by the government or reinterpretation of the
Constitution with regard to exercising the right to collective self-defense.
 Since enactment of the special intelligence protection legislation in
last autumn, there has been discrepancy between LDP, insisting that a
new Diet monitoring body will not have an authority to judge
appropriateness of information-classification and Komeito, voicing
that a new body will be given right to release recommendations to the
government on designation/cancellation in case the body judged there
was an arbitrary classification. The gap remains as far apart.
 LDP and Komeito plans to hold a meeting of project-team sometime this
week. The ruling parties will bring in their each draft bill, but it
is yet to be seen whether the discussions will be settled.

 At the same time, there are wide discrepancy between Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe and the ruling LDP, and its coalition partner Komeito on a
change of interpretation of the pacifist Constitution toward lifting
the country’s self-imposed ban on the right to collective
self-defense. Although the Advisor Panel on Reconstruction of the
Legal Basis of Security had scheduled to submit its report within
April, the panel postponed its schedule to sometime in May after long
holidays. The government entered final stage of drafting by stating to
limit the Self-Defense Forces’ activities to Japanese territorial
waters or the high seas in the exercise of the right to collective
self-defense to gain the support of intra-party moderates and Komeito.
 On April 3, LDP started a meeting with Komeito. But Komeito called
for a cautious approach toward lifting the nation's self-imposed ban
on the right to collective self-defense, indicating that revising
existing laws such as the Law Concerning Measures for Peace and
Security of Japan in Situations in Areas Surrounding Japan are
sufficient for the nation to respond to emergencies. While the parties
will continue discussions on the issue, it is likely that the parties
will have difficulty reaching an agreement.


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