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Chief Cabinet Secretary Kanezo Muraoka pressed 12 ministries Thursday to
work harder to swiftly compile deregulatory measures to boost the economy.

In a hastily arranged meeting at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence,
Muraoka urged officials at 12 ministries to abandon traditional ways of
doing things and promote structural reform.

“No excuse will be accepted justifying that such and such regulation
cannot be lifted. Both industries and bureaucrats should give up vested
interests,” Muraoka told the officials.

Muraoka said the main business targets include information and
communications, land utilization, distribution, home care for ailing
elderly, and small and medium-size firms. The top government spokesman
called on the ministries to draft the measures within the following week so
they can be finalized and announced in mid-November.

Muraoka said those ministries that maintain they need more time to
implement deregulation and the names of bureaucrats and industry people who
oppose deregulation will be made public. He added that he has worked
closely with Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto toward drawing up economic
measures.

Muraoka’s firm resolution comes amid mounting public calls for such
measures after recent economic indexes indicated the nation’s economy
remains in a slump. Deregulatory steps will be the centerpiece of such a
package because the government cannot afford additional spending for items
such as public works projects, while making strenuous efforts to salvage
the national budget from its sea of debts.

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