Medical, agriculture decontrols planned

Kyodo

A government regulatory reform panel, which was revived Thursday after nearly three years, will prioritize deregulating the medical, farm and energy sectors to remove obstacles to the nation’s economic growth strategy.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe instructed regulation reform council, headed by Motoyuki Oka, adviser to Sumitomo Corp., to “intensively work on achieving reforms” to help implement the growth strategy under his Cabinet.

Former economic and fiscal minister Hiroko Ota, now professor at the National Graduate School for Policy Studies, will serve as deputy head of the council, which will meet once a month to work out measures by June to scrap regulations that have become hurdles to nurturing industries.

The regulation reform council, which was launched under the previous Abe Cabinet in 2007, was dormant under past governments led by the Democratic Party of Japan, which was in power from 2009 until its defeat in the general election in December.