Koizumi delegates deregulation zones

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Tuesday ordered his Cabinet ministers to establish deregulation zones in the fields of medical care, agriculture and education, according to government officials.

Koizumi is looking to create one special zone in which private-sector firms would be allowed to operate farms, another in which foreign doctors would be allowed to dispense medical care, and another in which joint-stock firms would be allowed to operate schools.

The government will hold a meeting Friday to hammer out promotional programs.

“Though I understand there are difficult areas due to various reasons, such difficult areas are the ones that need deregulatory reforms in the form of special zones before nationwide implementation,” Koizumi said.

The special agricultural zone will be studied under Tadamori Oshima, minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries; the medical care zone will be studied under Chikara Sakaguchi, minister of health, labor and welfare; and the education zone will be studied under Atsuko Toyama, minister of education, culture, sports, science and technology.