Panel eyes "special English zones" to better promote Japan culture

A government panel of experts proposed Tuesday that Japan set up "special English zones" to enhance communication ability in English as part of its strategy to promote Japanese culture abroad.

In the proposal submitted to administrative reform minister Tomomi Inada, experts said companies in the envisioned special zones should receive preferential tax treatment if they adopt English as their common language.

The panel also recommended the government provide subsidies to TV stations that offer English subtitles and audio channels.

Under the "Cool Japan" initiative, the government aims to bolster its promotion of Japanese culture overseas toward the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.