The government advisory panel on deregulation on Friday urged Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to push his reforms more aggressively.
The Council for Regulatory Reform made the request in proposals featuring deregulation in 12 main areas, including the sale of medicines.
“It is important to accelerate efforts to deregulate the areas related to the private sector,” the council, headed by Orix Corp. Chairman Yoshihiko Miyauchi, said in a report.
“We consider the report a milestone,” he later told reporters.
He also said members of his panel plan to include specific numerical targets in future proposals so the government can come up with easy and tangible results.
He is expected to submit the report to Koizumi on Tuesday.
The report welcomes a series of decontrols initiated in the recently launched special deregulated zones but says the steps are producing only “limited and partial” effects.
Commenting on the administration’s reform package and other steps, the report says the government must push through reforms more aggressively.
The package, adopted by the Cabinet last month, watered down some of the deregulatory programs.
In the medical field, the package calls for easing restrictions on the sale of over-the-counter medicines at convenience stores and other retailers, on condition that the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare authorizes their sale and specifies the medicines to be put on sale at such retail outlets by the end of the year.
But the panel’s report says the government should quickly authorize the sale of some well-established medicines in daily use, including stomach medicines and laxatives.
The proposal, however, has already met objections from the health ministry, which said the report has gone beyond what had earlier been agreed upon by the Cabinet.
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