Full-line support with PA activities from public opinion promotion to approaching policy makers
Public Affairs Highlights from Japan ～ Policy & Topics ～
■ Increasing Threat of Cyber-attacks – System Vulnerabilities at Overseas Sites is Discussed
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) held a meeting of experts on April 11 to discuss cyber-attack measures, and compiled recommendations for industry in response to the increasing threat. In April, it was reported that Panasonic's subsidiary in Canada may have been subject to a cyber-attack by ransomware; a ransom-type computer virus. There is an urgent need to formulate a business continuity plan, and to apply the same security measures as those used in Japan to systems at overseas sites.
■ Defense Minister Kishi Willing to Expand Defense Spending in FY2023
Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo expressed his wish to "secure the necessary budget for drastic reinforcement of defense capabilities," and voiced willingness for a significant increase in the FY2023 budget, compared with FY2022. He pointed out the importance of uniting with the international community in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and of avoiding a situation where China takes actions in the Taiwan Strait. Leader of Komeito Party, Yamaguchi Natsuo, commented, 'the budget is limited and there is a large demand for social security and education. It is not appropriate to project defense spending alone." An active debate is expected ahead of the budget request this summer.
■ Regulations Being Considered for Start-up Creation
At the meeting of the ‘Council of New Form of Capitalism Realization’, Prime Minister Kishida Fumio declared the necessity of supporting emerging companies’ management environment, in order to implement the government’s five-year plan for creating more new companies. He outlined his policy on cultivating start-ups and changing capital regulations, and signaled that he would clarify the executive function within the government for achieving this. Kishida added that incorporating the knowledge of start-ups more actively will be a source of innovation, and that he will consider reviewing support measures and regulations for such companies.
■ Japanese Government Eases Entry Restrictions to 20,000 Overseas Visitors Per Day
The Government of Japan began accepting tourists from overseas on June 10, as part of its easing of entry restrictions. The number of visitors to Japan, which had previously been restricted to 10,000 a day, has been doubled to 20,000. Airport quarantine has been relaxed considerably in line with this. The new quarantine measures classify countries and regions into three groups based on local conditions and other factors. Entrants from 98 countries and regions which are considered to have the lowest risk of infection, including the US and South Korea, will be exempt from antigen testing and proof of vaccination requirements.
■ Driver’s License No Longer Required for E- scooters
The revised Road Traffic Law set new rules for e-scooters in Japan. E-scooters with a maximum speed of 12.4 mph (20 km/h) or less are classified under a new category for e-scooters and e-bicycles.
■ Japanese Government Takes Serious Steps Towards ‘Web 3.0’
The Government of Japan has included the new internet concept of 'Web 3.0' in its 'New Form of Capitalism' action plan and will strengthen blockchain and non-fungible token (NFT) related technologies in the future. The government intends to promote this as part of its growth strategy for Japan, where the outflow of IT personnel overseas continues. However, challenges remain, including tax reform.
■ New Institutional Arrangements for ‘Level 4’ Drone Flights
Institutional arrangements for 'Level 4' drones will be put in place in 2022. ‘Level 4’ refers to flying over manned areas (i.e. third parties) out of sight, using automatic navigation technology for pre-determined routes. This includes the use of drones for delivering packages in urban areas. It is expected to stimulate the use of drones in various fields with ‘Level 4’ drone flights.
■ Government Considers Proposal to Support Startups through Tax Incentives
It has been revealed that the national government will be considering the expansion of tax incentives in the 2023 tax reform as part of a larger set of measures to support startups. The government has also announced its intention to create a five-year plan for the development of startups, with Prime Minister Kishida moving forward to expand the support system via steps such as appointing Minister in Charge of Economic Revitalization Daishiro Yamagiwa to the newly-created post of Minister in Charge of Startups.
■ Japanese Government Eases Pre-entry Test Requirement for Visitors
Prime Minister Kishida held a press conference and announced that, effective September 7, the daily arrival cap on foreign nationals entering Japan will be raised from the current 20,000 to 50,000. He also announced steps to further ease border control measures, such as allowing entry to tourists on self-guided tours from any country.
Having imposed the strictest border control measures among the G7 countries, Japan experienced failure in attracting foreign tourists by limiting entry to only visitors on guided group tours. Further steps, such as the waiving of the visa requirement for visitors to Japan, are sought.
■ Japanese Government Approves New 39 Trillion Yen Economic Measures
On October 28, the Kishida Cabinet will finalize the following four comprehensive economic measures, and assemble a supplementary budget, to cope with soaring prices and the weak yen: (1) Price hikes and wage increases; (2) Regional recovery utilizing the weak yen; (3) Acceleration of the ‘New Form of Capitalism’; and (4) Ensuring the safety and security of the people.
■ Shigeyuki Goto to become Minister of Economic Revitalization
Prime Minister Kishida nominated Goto Shigeyuki, former Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare, of the Liberal Democratic Party, to replace former Minister of Economic Revitalization Yamazaki, who resigned on October 25. In addition to his responsibilities as Minister of Economic Revitalization, Mr. Goto will also concurrently hold positions for six other areas, including the 'New Form of Capitalism', Start-ups, and others.
■ Government Decides on Policy to Use Nuclear Power
On December 22, 2022, the Government of Japan held the “GX Implementation Council” to decide on a strategy for decarbonization, and compiled a basic policy that includes the use of nuclear power to achieve carbon neutrality and a stable energy supply.
■ Japanese Government to Remove COVID-19 Restrictions from May
Prime Minister Kishida announced a major shift in the policy of COVID-19 control. From May 8, the policy will no longer restrict actions on infected people or those who have been in contact with them, and will also explore the relaxation of the guidelines for wearing masks.
■ 2 trillion yen in subsidies planned for domestic production of semiconductors
In order to secure a stable supply of semiconductors, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has decided to subsidize one-third of capital investments in Japan, whether by domestic or foreign companies, on the condition of delivering continuous production for 10 years or more. In the event of a tight supply-demand situation, Japan will also give priority to domestic supply. Japan plans to invest a total of about 2 trillion yen in support of semiconductors, including this subsidy.
Strong government relations can be crucial for your business in Japan. The COVID-19 crisis has further highlighted this fact. The government seeks to adapt to the new normal through regulatory harmonization and reforms that have recently paved the way for advances including online medical consultations, online shareholder meetings, and alignment of shipping guidelines.
With extensive experience, knowhow, and network, Dentsu PR is ideally positioned to support your activities.
Public Affairs in Japan
To make your public affairs activities successful in Japan, you must take into account the unique aspects of the political system:
・Japan’s legislature, the National Diet, consists of two elected chambers: the 465-member House of Representatives (lower house), and the 248-member House of Councilors (upper house). The 700-plus lawmakers are responsible for the proposal, review, and passage of legislation.
・Executive power lies with the cabinet, consisting of ministers appointed by the Prime Minister.
・The Diet operates according to a majoritarian system and is currently led by a coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Komeito. Other than two brief periods (1993–96 and 2009–2012), the LDP has held power almost continuously since its formation in 1955.
To promote legislative change or budget allocation, it is essential to align with the political calendar.
Formally, draft laws may be submitted by either the cabinet or by individual lawmakers from both Upper and Lower Houses. However, the vast majority of bills ultimately passed into law are submitted by the cabinet.
Though Japanese law prohibits the existence of professional lobbyists, as in most other markets your public affairs program should include the identification and analysis of stakeholders, and the building of relationships. In addition, to achieve your goals, it is especially important to develop an understanding of government priorities, as well as links with persons of influence.
Our Approach to Public Affairs
Dentsu PR employs a dual-focus approach to public affairs, shaping both public policy and public opinion through three key steps:
・Proposing the creation of social value
・Gathering supporting evidence
What we Offer
Dentsu PR offers a wide range of services to help achieve your public affairs goals.
Our track record in Public Affairs
Dentsu PR’s comprehensive services covering all stages of shaping public opinion and public policy have assisted both private companies and public agencies in achieving their pubic affairs goals.