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The Prime Minister in Action

Council on National Strategic Special Zones

March 19, 2015

[Provisional Translation]

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held the 13th meeting of the Council on National Strategic Special Zones at the Prime Minister's Office.

During the meeting, debate took place on certifying the special zone plan, additional items for regulatory reform, and the designation of Regional Vitalization Special Zones.


Based on the discussion, the Prime Minister said in his address,

“Today, as the first installment on the Regional Vitalization Special Zones promised in last year’s election, we decided on three areas. I expect the Regional Vitalization Special Zones to serve as a leading model of regional vitalization in Japan.

Semboku City in Akita Prefecture has opened state-owned forest lands that cover 60% of its land area to the private sector for cattle grazing and drone verification testing. The restriction against practices owned by non-Japanese physicians will also be lifted here.

Sendai City in Miyagi Prefecture is introducing a program for regional children’s nurses and speeding up procedures for opening daycare facilities, including those operated by incorporated NPOs, as a means of facilitating women’s active role in society and encouraging social business creation.

The national government will provide as much assistance as possible, including simplifying procedures and dispatching experts, to this first installment of three Regional Vitalization Special Zone areas, including Aichi Prefecture, which are working for breakthrough in the reform of vested interests in the fields of education and agriculture.

In addition, we finalized regulatory reform to add to the bill, including lifting the ban on construction of daycares in urban parks and expanding the scope of treatments that can be performed by non-Japanese physicians. An enhanced version of the bill, including these additions, will be submitted to the current session of the Diet.

Furthermore, we will solicit bold regulatory reform proposals, including verification of near future technologies, and launch the second installment of Regional Vitalization Special Zones as quickly as possible before the end of the year.”


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