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).


On Operation of the National Strategic Special Zones

                         June 17, 2014
SAKANE Masahiro
        HATTA Tatsuo

1.         Operation of the Regional Committee
Among the six special zones selected, some zones schedule to establish the “Regional Committee” as early as in this June. It is important that each zone launches highly-effective “Regional Committee” in a swift manner.

2.         Firm Implementation of the Initial Reform Menu
The initial regulatory reform menu entailed in the National Strategic Special Zones Law must be, needless to say, implemented firmly.
With regard to the privately-managed public schools, the Law provides it be legislatively designed “within one year or so.” Accordingly with the provision, necessary legislative measures should be taken immediately. In that process, attentions must be paid to prevent some excessive restrictions or regulations from being imposed.

3.         Toward Additional Regulatory-Reform Menu
       Second Invitation for Proposals
The Basic Policy of National Strategic Special Zones provides that invitation for proposals be held at least twice a year. Toward swift addition of the reform-menu, the process of second invitation for proposals should be advanced in this summer, following the last year’s schedule (invitation in July, results to be released by September after consultations with the relevant government ministries).

       Specific Reform-Menu Likely to be Proposed
Based on the past discussions and others, such menu as the following including tax measures will likely be proposed in the Regional Committee to be launched. With regard to proposals to be proposed including the following, swift considerations must be given from the viewpoint of putting weights on operation of the Regional Committee.

l  New institutional arrangements must be designed with regard to qualification of foreign residents as startup personnel or Cool Japan human resources, for example, that the Regional Committee handles its standard-making and operation.

l  New ways of working-hours regulation must be considered in eye of startup companies.

l  Tax measures in accordance with governance reforms of companies and universities (corporate tax reduction, expansion of donation-easy tax system, etc.)

4.         Organizational Arrangements for Promotion of Further Reforms
There is only one-year-and-half remaining for the government to realize Prime Minister Abe’s international pledge to “break through the solid rock of vested interests…over the next two years” announced in January this year.
In order to steadily accelerate reforms of bedrock regulations, comprehensive organizational arrangements for promoting various kinds of reforms, such as regulatory reform, special zone, industrial competitiveness, decentralization reform, etc., must be prepared.

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