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Procedure for attracting businesses to rural areas to be simplified

  • 2015-01-16 15:00:00
  • , Nikkei
  • Translation

(Nikkei: January 16, 2015 – p. 4)


 The administration’s expert advisory committee for decentralization reform decided on Jan. 15 on a policy proposal for the transfer of power in response to calls from local governments. The proposal clearly states that in order to promote efforts to attract businesses to rural areas, the procedure for the government’s approval of basic plans drawn up by local governments will be simplified and the time required for approval will be shortened.


 Consensus-building on the approving authority for the conversion of farmland has made little headway. As such, the committee plans to reach a decision on the matter shortly and the cabinet will decide on a policy within the month. This will make it possible for bills revising relevant laws to be submitted to the ordinary Diet session scheduled to begin this month.


 The committee also included in its proposal a policy to make it easier to dispatch customs and immigration personnel to local airports used by foreign business jets.


 At present, two weeks advance notice to CIQ (customs, immigrations, and quarantine) agencies is required, but the new policy will only require advance notice of three days for normal situations and 24 hours for emergencies. The new policy, requested by Saga Prefecture, aims at encouraging more businesses to fly their jets into local airports.


 The committee also hammered out a policy for extending the special exception regarding living area for childcare facilities, over which the committee had encountered difficulties in dealing with the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.


 In metropolitan areas such as Tokyo where there are many children on the waiting list for admission to childcare facilities and kindergartens, the special exception allows local governments to decide for the national government on requirements for the living area of such facilities. The special exception will be extended for five years until the end of March 2020.

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