Local communities must take the initiative in efforts to revitalize downtown districts and those that do should receive assistance from the central government, according to a report by a joint government panel.

The committee, formed by the Industrial Structure Council and the Small and Medium Enterprise Policymaking Council, called on state agencies involved to cooperate closely and coordinate their revitalization polices to maximize positive results.

In its report, the committee calls on the central government to focus on implementing integrated and intensive support measures that promise positive results.

Specifically, the state should concentrate on public projects such as streets, parks and parking lots as well as improving transportation systems in certain commercial districts, the report says.

The report also promotes management of town districts to coordinate a variety of commercial facilities.

A framework should also be drawn up to make use of experts on town management, the report adds.

Restrictions on land use should be eased to enable local communities to quickly carry out redevelopment programs, it says.

The revitalization steps, proposed ahead of the budget request deadline at the end of the month, are widely seen as paving the way for further easing the Large-scale Retail Store Law, which imposes restrictions on big retailers.

The joint committee will begin discussions on easing the law next month.

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