A government panel on Friday designated six areas, including in Tokyo and Kansai, as special strategic zones to promote economic deregulation.

The National Strategic Special Zones are one of the structural reform projects of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's deflation-busting "Abenomics" plan.

"With the designation of the special zones, we have put in place a drill to break through the tough bedrock of regulations," Abe, who chairs the panel, was quoted as saying by internal affairs minister Yoshitaka Shindo after the meeting. Shindo is in charge of the project.