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METI Reduces Burdens on Businesses in Terms of Administrative Procedures by 20% from the Standpoints of Businesses Formulation of METI basic plans based on the report compiled by the Regulatory Reform Promotion Council

In light of the report compiled by the Working Group on Administrative Procedures under the Regulatory Reform Promotion Council and the directions issued by the Prime Minister in March 2017, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) compiled basic plans concerning the reduction of burdens on businesses in terms of its administrative procedures.

1. Discussions held by the Working Group on Administrative Procedures under the Regulatory Reform Promotion Council

Based on the Japan Revitalization Strategy formulated in June 2016, the Working Group on Administrative Procedures under the Regulatory Reform Promotion Council has been holding discussions on approaches to integrally advancing: regulatory reforms, streamlining of administrative procedures, and introduction of IT, from the standpoints of businesses.

At the meeting in March 2017, the working group finally compiled a report on policies for these issues, including prioritized fields and measures for reducing procedural burdens on businesses. Based on this report, METI formulated its basic plans.

  1. Three principles for streamlining administrative procedures
    1. Thorough digitalization of administrative procedures(digital-first principle)
      With regard to administrative procedures needed to be digitalized, METI will thoroughly digitalize such procedures, including their attachments.
    2. No second request for the same information to businesses(once-only principle)
      METI will not request businesses to resubmit the same information that they have already submitted.
    3. Harmonization of formats
      METI will develop an environment in which businesses are able to use maximally-harmonized formats among applications and notifications for the same purposes or content.
  2. Prioritized fields
    METI formulated the basic plans to achieve goals set to reduce the heavy burdens that businesses consider so involving administrative procedures in the following nine fields:
    Procedures for obtaining permission or approval for business license; those for social insurance; national tax; local tax; procedures for subsidies; cooperation provisions for surveys or statistics research; procedures for labor control of employees; commercial registration; and issuance of a variety of certificates based on requests from employees.

    Notes:

    1. According to the results of a questionnaire survey targeting businesses, 69% of the total respondents said that they consider the procedures above as burdens.
    2. METI formulates basic plans for procedures concerning which more than 100 applications are filed every year.
  3. Target goal of the reduction efforts
    METI will reduce the burdens of businesses involving its administrative procedures (i.e., period of time that businesses take for completing applications)by 20%. It will engage in the efforts for three years by FY2019 or may take five years by 2021 depending on the types of procedures.

2. Outline of METI’s basic policies

  1. Among the nine prioritized fields, METI will formulate basic plans for: procedures for obtaining permission or approval for business license; procedures for subsidies; and cooperation provisions for surveys or statistics research, and will thoroughly engage in them under the three principles.
  2. In addition to the above efforts, METI will strive to conduct the following initiatives on a voluntary basis.
    1. Expanding target scopes of burden reduction
      In addition to the procedures for obtaining permission or approval for business license, concerning which 380,000 applications are filed annually, METI will voluntarily formulate basic plans for procedures concerning which more than 1,000 applications are annually filed (75 procedures, 920,000 applications in total), i.e., those for gaining import/export permissions, chemicals safety control, industrial security, and other permissions and approvals, under METI’s jurisdiction. Through these efforts, METI will reduce 20% of total burdens, targeting 97% of all procedures across the ministry.

Further efforts for streamlining administrative procedures

  • METI will make unnecessary or overlapping contents of procedures effective or streamlined, in addition to efforts to be thoroughly conducted under the three principles.
  • It will also strive to enhance the user-friendliness of the procedures that have already been digitalized, e.g., adding a new function of preventing wrong description.

Release date

July 4, 2017

Division in Charge

Industrial Structure Policy Division, Economic and Industrial Policy Bureau

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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