The Public Comments System is a procedure whereby an administrative body presents a draft of an order (Cabinet Order, Ministerial Ordinance, etc.) in advance and solicits the thoughts and opinions of the general public in regards to said proposal. This procedure was established with the revision of the Administrative Procedures Law in June 2005 (Heisei 17).
The Submission of Opinions procedures (the so-called public comments process) was enacted based on the “Procedures for Submitting Opinions on the Establishment, Amendment, or Repeal of Regulations (1999 Cabinet Decision);” however, this Cabinet Decision was abolished on April 1, 2006 (Heisei 18) when the Administrative Procedure Law established provisions for public comment procedures, thereby taking over the purpose of the Cabinet decision.
※ There are no restrictions on who can submit public comments when it comes to nationality, etc., but Japanese language proficiency in reading and writing are required for submissions.
For more information from the relevant agencies on this topic, please visit the links below (available only in Japanese).
The Japanese Ministry of Justice: https://www.moj.go.jp/hisho/soshiki/public_index2.html
The Nagano Prefectural Government: https://www.pref.nagano.lg.jp/koho/kensei/koho/public/index.html#boshuchu