New Japanese PM outlines policy

  • Mr Fumio Kishida

Mr Fumio Kishida, the newly elected Japanese Prime Minister, delivered his first policy speech in October, vowing to reach economic growth for the country with his “new form of capitalism” and redistribute the fruits of that success to build up a stronger middle class.

“Only when we properly distribute the fruits of growth will we be able to realise more growth,” Mr Kishida said, adding that neoliberal policies had caused a “deep rift between the haves and the have-nots”. On economic policies, Mr Kishida said that his government would invest in cutting-edge fields such as Artificial Intelligence and seek legislation to prevent the leakage of technology. Mr Kishida also promised to implement tax incentives for companies that raise wages.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister vowed to ward off deflation through drastic monetary easing and fiscal spending. The idea matched with “Abenomics”, which was pursued by former premiers Shinzo Abe and Yoshihide Suga.

Regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, Mr Kishida pledged to get fully prepared for booster shots and medical treatments, and he also mentioned legislation to make it easier for the government to impose restrictions on movement and secure medical resources when future waves of infections happen. “The key to crisis management is to always be prepared for the worst-case scenario,” Mr Kishida said, adding that cash handouts would become available for businesses and people suffering from the health crisis.

He emphasized the importance of communication and building trust with the public and other countries throughout the speech and made the case for building “a kind and warm society based on human connection,” quoting an African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

As for constitutional revision, he said he would expect constructive debate in Parliament and more public discussion on a way forward. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party has proposed a set of four amendments such as giving the Cabinet the ability to wield emergency powers during national crises. In addition, Mr Kishida said that Japan, as the only country to be hit by an atomic bomb in war, would serve as a bridge between nuclear weapons states and non-nuclear weapons states, aiming to realize “a world without nuclear arms”.

Tags: Japan