Japanese Prime Minister Kishida to unveil plans to revive economy after pandemic

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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks during a press conference at the Prime Minister’s official residence in Tokyo, Japan, October 14, 2021. Eugene Hoshiko / Pool via REUTERS

TOKYO, Nov. 10 (Reuters) – Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will present plans on Wednesday to revive a pandemic-stricken economy after his ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) won a strong majority in elections last month.

A post-election boost for the soft-spoken ex-banker of the nuclear memorial city of Hiroshima raised government support ratings to 53% in an opinion poll this week by state broadcaster NHK . Two weeks ago support was at 46%.

Kishida, who is due to present his plans at a press conference scheduled for 9:00 p.m. (1200 GMT), stressed that his immediate priority was to revive growth, with tax reform later.

Strong ratings, a predicted economic stimulus that could be worth more than 30 trillion yen ($ 264.7 billion), coupled with high vaccination rates and few infections could help Kishida consolidate his power base in the party and to avoid the fate of his predecessor Yoshihide Suga who lasted only a year in labor.

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

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

Kishida has reappointed all but one of the ministers from the previous lineup, announced last month after his first election to parliament following his victory in the LDP leadership race sparked by Suga’s resignation in September.

A change was in the position of the Foreign Minister, where Kishida replaced Toshimitsu Motegi, who moved to a key party position, with another former PLD Education Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi.

In addition, Kishida, who has pledged to take a strong stand in favor of democracy in the Chinese-ruled city of Hong Kong and the human rights of the Uyghur Muslim minority, appointed former defense minister the General Nakatani, his special adviser in charge of international human rights issues.

Nakatani proposed to introduce a Japanese version of the US Magnitsky Law, a US law that punishes foreign human rights violators by freezing US assets and banning travel to the United States. Read more

Most of Kishida’s ministers have no cabinet experience, as per his promise to give new people a chance, but the majority of prominent posts have gone to allies of two major parties: the former prime minister conservative Shinzo Abe or former finance minister Taro. Aso.

In a new measure strengthening the Tories’ position in the PLD after Abe’s record tenure as head of government, the former prime minister on Wednesday agreed to take the lead of the party’s largest faction, media said national.

With the elections over, Kishida is putting in place an ambitious agenda to adopt an economic stimulus on November 19 and a supplementary budget to fund spending by the end of this month.

One of the pillars of the planned stimulus package is a 100,000 yen payment in cash and vouchers for children aged 18 and under, for which the coalition agreed to a cap of 9.6 million yen on Wednesday. annual income.

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

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

($ 1 = 113.3,500 yen)

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

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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