On Jan 28, 2012, METI announced the draft of massive overhaul in export license application procedures for seeking public comment. These are range of notifications and information with license application and supporting documents forms. The due date of public comment is by Feb 26, 2012. Because the change is in notification level by METI, not change of law or ministerial ordinance, it is expected to be officially announced and enforce around March or April 2012.
The draft of notifications are available in below government web site. (Please be noted these are in Japanese only, no English translation is available.)
I don't yet look through all documents, but there is significant impact to traders, especially in bulk license system. METI introduce a new type of General Bulk License (or split into two types of General Bulk License). First, in order to get existing type of General Bulk License, as a new application requirement, on-site audit by METI officer will be introduced. Currently, the main requirement is to implement ICP and fill in designated "Check List" form, but from perhaps next fiscal year, ICP implementation will be verified by METI officer by visiting a company before granting bulk license. On the other hand, METI introduce a new type of "simplified" General Bulk License, which is only for export to White Countries, where low risk countries in export compliance such as North America, EU, Australia, New Zealand, and Korea etc. This "simplified" General Bulk License is NOT required to ICP implementation in export operation, and just registration of responsible person is enough by application through online.
This change is considered as relax of control to low risk countries, but at the same time, tighten the control of bulk license to the other countries by introducing on-site audit beforehand.