Deregulation zone eyed for Tokyo Games

Deregulation zone eyed for Tokyo Games
This artist image received on September 9, 2013 by the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Bid Committee shows the new National Stadium in Tokyo.

TOKYO - As Tokyo prepares for the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games, the government is considering designating Tokyo as a "national strategy special zone," in which drastic deregulation measures will take place in designated areas, according to sources.

This would allow construction and improvement projects for Games-related athletic facilities, accommodations and roads created under the private finance initiative (PFI) to tap into private-sector funds and management know-how, the sources said.

Under the PFI system, the central and local governments entrust the construction of public facilities, as well as their management and operations, to private-sector companies. The operational rights to facilities would be sold to companies, in some cases.

Four outside council members, including Prof. Motoshige Ito of the University of Tokyo, were expected to propose the plan at a meeting on Friday of the government's Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, the sources said. The council is chaired by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Under the proposal, the Tokyo Games are considered the "fourth arrow" in the Abe administration's quiver of economic policies, called Abenomics.

The proposal states: "By making the Games the trigger to an explosive acceleration of economic globalization, intensive construction and improvement of transport infrastructure, the nation's international competitiveness capability will be dramatically strengthened."

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