OSAKA — Local governments and business organizations in Osaka submitted a plan Wednesday to the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy regarding the creation of a local special economic zone, in line with a stimulus measure the panel is expected to propose.
The plan suggests that the national government designate Rinku Town, a business and industrial district on the shore opposite Kansai International Airport in Osaka Bay, as a special economic zone with relaxed regulation of economic activities.
They suggested inviting various businesses to the area, including a casino operator, as well as easing customs and visa regulations to promote international businesses there.
Also proposed was the establishment of a separate zone in central Osaka where startup businesses could receive favorable treatment.
The plan was submitted to the national government’s key economic panel by the municipal and prefectural governments of Osaka, the Osaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Kansai Economic Federation.
The key government council, chaired by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, is now hammering out a package of new economic stimulus measures to be announced next month.
According to a six-point outline of the measures unveiled Monday, the panel seeks the creation of “structural reform zones,” in which the government will drastically ease regulations as a means to reinvigorate regional economies.
“We believe that such special zones are necessary in order to revitalize the economy, as well as to promote decentralization of authority,” an Osaka prefectural official said. “The proposed zone should be established in Osaka, as Osaka is the economic center of the Kansai region.”
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