The government decided on Tuesday to adopt a three-year deregulation program that covers 917 points in 15 areas, including electrical appliances and vehicle inspections.

The program is wider in scope than the government’s original plan endorsed in March 1998, which called for deregulation of 624 items between fiscal 1998 and 2000.

The plan allows private businesses to conduct inspections on vehicles and appliances to see if they are meeting proper safety standards. The liberalization program will enable private-sector companies to set their own prices and promote more competition than under the current system, which limits inspection services to entities under the direct management of the central and local governments. A limited number of public- and private-sector facilities can also conduct such services, but the prices are set uniformly for all entities.

While promoting the employment of academic professionals at universities as board members at private companies, the plan also calls for easing public certification requirements for professionals such as lawyers, easing rules for night nurseries, and basing drivers’ license validity to on age.

Other points promoted by the plan include:

1) Raising the legal expressway speed limit for minicars and motorcycles to 100 kph from 80 kph;

2) Repealing sunshine rules that prevent new buildings from blocking neighboring buildings’ exposure to sunlight, to improve land utilization;

3) Easing requirements for approval of private job-placement services;

4) Relaxing licensing for liquor production in times when demand is firm;

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