A government panel on devolution has made an interim report to hasten a review of the duties and obligations that local governments must fulfill under laws and ministry ordinances. In December 2008, it had said that about 4,080 items under 480 laws should be reviewed so that local governments can have more freedom in providing services for local residents and executing other administrative work.

This time the panel calls on the central government to relieve local governments of the duties and obligations related to (1) standards for establishing facilities, (2) procedures that now require consultations with, or approval of, the central government, and (3) planning for projects and related procedures.

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