Japan PM Kishida to unveil plans to revive economy after pandemic

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TOKYO (Businesshala) – Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will on Wednesday outline a plan to revive a pandemic-hit economy after his ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) secured a strong majority in last month’s election.

FILE PHOTO: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks during a news conference at the Prime Minister’s official residence on October 14, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. Eugene Hoshiko/Pool via Businesshala

Post-election campaigning for the soft-spoken former banker of the nuclear memorial city of Hiroshima has raised the government support rating to 53% in an opinion poll by public broadcaster NHK this week. Two weeks ago support was at 46%.

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Kishida, who outlined his plans at a news conference on Wednesday evening, stressed that his immediate priority is to revive growth, followed by fiscal reform.

Solid ratings, a planned economic stimulus that could exceed 30 trillion yen ($264.7 billion), combined with a high vaccination rate and few infections helped Kishida to consolidate his power base in the party and the fortunes of his predecessor Yoshihide Suga. It may help to escape. Only one year in the job.

On Wednesday, Kishida was re-elected by parliament, in whose powerful lower house the LDP won 261 of the 465 seats. The vote was a formality given the dominance of the party and its junior coalition partner in parliament.

In Japan, the prime minister is elected by the members of parliament, not by a national election.

Kishida is ready to reappoint all but one of the ministers from the previous line-up, announced last month after being elected by parliament for the first time since his victory in the LDP chief’s race that began with Suga’s resignation in September. Is.

One change is in the position of foreign minister, where Kishida is expected to replace Toshimitsu Motegi, who has moved to a major party position with Yoshimasa Hayashi, another LDP heavyweight, former education minister.

In line with his pledge to give newcomers a chance, most of Kishida’s ministers have no prior cabinet experience, but most of the important work has gone to the aides of two party colleagues: the conservative former prime minister Shinzo Abe, or the former finance minister. Taro eso.

The former prime minister agreed on Wednesday to take over as the head of the party’s largest faction, upping the position of conservatives in the LDP after Abe’s record-long tenure at the top post, domestic media said.

With elections out of the way, Kishida is setting an ambitious agenda for passing economic stimulus on November 19 and an additional budget to spend by the end of this month.

A pillar of the planned stimulus is a payment of 100,000 yen in cash and vouchers for children aged 18 or younger, for which the coalition on Wednesday set a limit of 9.6 million yen in annual income.

On Tuesday, Kishida vowed to get the economy back on track by increasing private sector investment and disposable income to achieve a “virtuous cycle” of economic growth and distribution of wealth.

He has said he wants to reform the medical system and provide booster shots to better protect against the next wave of COVID-19 infections.

Reporting by Antoni Slodkowski, Kantaro Komiya, Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Michael Perry

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