The new Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, made his first post-office speech on Friday to draw the main lines of his policy with a clear focus on the economic sphere, where he advocated the adoption of a “new capitalism” with an emphasis on economic growth and redistribution of wealth.
The former foreign minister and current leader of the Liberal Democratic Party (PLD) takes office with a promise of renewal – of its twenty ministers, thirteen are relatively unknown to the public – after the devastating economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, starting with the increase in inequality.
“Neoliberal politics has opened a deep gap between those who have it and those who don’t,” said Kishida when he presented his economic plan to the lower house of the Japanese parliament on Friday. “Only if we properly distribute the fruits of growth can we generate more growth,” he added in his appearance compiled by the official Japanese news agency Kyodo.
To this end, Kishida has announced an increase in investment in new technologies such as artificial intelligence and the creation of a legal framework specifically designed to prevent new technologies from being passed on to foreign competitors.
This new policy, in a sense, breaks the economic line of its predecessors Shinzo Abe and Yoshihide Suga, defenders of corporate tax exemptions that Kishida will only reserve for companies that raise their employees’ salaries. On the other hand, however, the new prime minister has declared that he will maintain continuity in the fight against deflation.
Regarding the pandemic, the Prime Minister has urged the population not to let up after the state of emergency is lifted. In the coming weeks, Kishida will be pushing for new regulations to expedite the imposition of new restrictions on movement and ensure the accumulation of medical care in the event of new outbreaks.
“The key to overcoming a crisis is to be prepared for the worst possible scenario,” said the prime minister, who has promised cash injections to the companies and people hardest hit by the pandemic.
Finally, with regard to foreign policy, the Japanese Prime Minister has announced that he will devote the first months of his mandate to strengthening relations with the countries of the QUAD area (Australia, India and the United States) in the face of the military expansion of China in the Indo-Pacific. “Relations with China are important, but sometimes we have to say what needs to be said,” said the Prime Minister.
Regarding North Korea’s recent resumption of ballistic missile testing, Kishida has announced that the government will review its 2013 Abe National Security Strategy, National Defense Program and Medium-Term Defense Program guidelines.
Kishida also reiterated that he was ready to meet “without preconditions” with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to resolve the problem of the kidnapping of Japanese citizens in the country in the 1970s and 1980s.
With regard to Russia, the Prime Minister has finally realized that a post-war peace treaty cannot be signed without first resolving the territorial dispute that has been involved for decades over the Kuril archipelago, for Russia, known in Japan as the Northern Territories.