The International Trade Practice Center on Bloomberg Law® provides in one comprehensive, time-saving resource.
Aug. 23 — Japan's government will focus on cutting red tape to accommodate foreign businesses wanting access to the Japanese market as it ramps up efforts to have a 12-nation Asia-Pacific trade pact ratified, a Cabinet Office official said.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is bent on submitting the bills to approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to the next Diet (parliament) session before the U.S. presidential election Nov. 8, the official said Aug. 23.
Regulatory and structural reforms, or doing away with unnecessary government regulations, is one of Abe's “Abenomics three arrows” economic policy, but it has been criticized as static or even backpedaling.
The prime minister is gearing up to revamp the government Council for Regulatory Reform by late September, when his ruling Liberal Democratic Party plans to resubmit the TPP bills to the Diet (152 ITD, 8/8/16).
Abe is instructing aides to appoint more global- and business-oriented people to the council, rather than the academics and business retirees that dominated the previous council, which dissolved in late June, a Cabinet Office official who spoke on the condition of anonymity told Bloomberg BNA.
In addition, the LDP Aug. 23 is preparing to appoint a new chairman of the House of Representatives TPP Commission. An LDP Secretariat official said the party plans to tap Ryu Shionoya, former chairman of the LDP General Council, to chair the TPP Commission. Shionoya would replace Koya Nishikawa, who served in the role in the previous Diet session, the official said.
To date, the council has been working on recommendations primarily related to domestic matters, such as work-life balance, National Health Insurance and a lifetime work policy. Abe wants to bridge the role of the council with the TPP by reviewing and doing away with unnecessary government regulations and simplifying those that are necessary for foreign businesses that want to gain a foothold in, and export goods and services to, Japan, the official said.
Japanese government panels typically spend six to nine months before delivering reports to the government; therefore, the new council to be formed by late September is likely to hand its report to the prime minister in the first half of 2017.
The new council would take up such issues as agriculture, transportation, telecommunications and information technology, as well as self-regulation, community and regional revitalization, a carryover of the previous council, the official said.
Not everyone in the Diet is motivated to ratify the TPP.
Democratic Party Secretary General Yukio Edano Aug. 20 said in a speech in Saitama, near Tokyo, that the prospects of the U.S. Congress ratifying the TPP are “considerably slim, so it doesn't make a lot of sense for Japan to rush ratification,” a party official confirmed.
Instead, Edano said Japan should wait for the U.S. to make concessions in the TPP agreement areas where Japan is disadvantaged probably referring to the agricultural area, the official said.
While U.S. lawmakers say they want concessions on the trade pact's intellectual property protections for biologic medications and investor-state dispute protections for tobacco companies, among others, some Japanese lawmakers say the TPP doesn't do enough to defend five “sensitive” agricultural products from tariff liberalization (76 ITD, 4/20/16).
To contact the reporter on this story: Toshio Aritake in Tokyo at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerome Ashton at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)