Japanese prime minister candidate Kishida urges new form of capitalism to end disparities and recover from pandemic
- Kishida questions lack of fallout from Abenomics
- Sticks to BOJ’s 2% inflation target as “global standard”
- Takaichi is also set to join the race to become the first female PM
- All eyes are on the candidacy of the People’s Vaccine Minister Kono
TOKYO, Sept. 8 (Reuters) – Japan should fight for a new form of capitalism to reduce income disparities that have worsened under the coronavirus pandemic, said former foreign minister Fumio Kishida who hopes to become head of the ruling party and next prime minister.
Kishida is the only Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) member to announce his candidacy in a leadership vote on September 29, after Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced last Friday that he would step down. The winner of the vote is almost guaranteed to be the next prime minister of Japan.
People’s COVID-19 Vaccination Minister Taro Kono and former Interior Minister Sanae Takaichi have expressed their ambition to run.
Takaichi, 60, is expected to announce her candidacy later Wednesday and, if successful, she would become Japan’s first female leader.
Kishida said deregulation during the reform era in the early 2000s widened the wedge between the haves and have-nots and that the “Abenomics” of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who sought to mend tattered finances by achieving high growth and increasing tax revenues, have not seen the benefits spill over.
“Without the distribution of wealth, there will be no increase in consumption and demand (…) there will be no further growth if the distribution of wealth is lost,” Kishida said at the meeting. ‘a presentation of its economic proposals in Tokyo on Wednesday.
“I will aim to build a new Japanese style capitalism. The biggest challenge in macroeconomic policy is to end deflation. I will stick to the three stages of bold monetary policy, flexible budget spending and ‘a growth strategy,’ he said.
“There is no doubt that the Abenomics have made a major breakthrough in growth, but in terms of the distribution of wealth, the runoff has yet to occur.”
Kishida reiterated a call for an economic stimulus package worth “tens of billions of yen” to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. He said he would use budget spending to achieve economic stability without giving up on fiscal consolidation.
He said the Bank of Japan should keep its 2% inflation target because “it’s a global standard” and changing it would send the wrong message to the markets and leave the sales tax unchanged for the time being.
Kishida also called for the creation of a 10,000 billion yen ($ 90.7 billion) university fund to boost science and the promotion of renewable energy, while retaining nuclear technology, which he said should be viewed as a clean energy option.
TAKAICHI JOINS THE RACE
Takaichi has the backing of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, local media said, and would base his challenge on policies to push back the technological threat from China and strengthen an economy hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
Takaichi became the first female Minister of Home Affairs in the second Abe administration in 2014.
But even though local media reported that influential Abe gave Takaichi her backing by helping him gain the 20 parliamentary backs needed to run for leadership, she ranked poorly in popularity. which could hurt his chances.
Grassroots PLD members will vote in the leadership elections along with party parliament members, and whoever wins will lead the party to the lower house elections due by November 28, making the appeal public an important factor in the choice of the new leader.
Takaichi said she wanted to work on issues left open by previous administrations, such as reaching 2% inflation and introducing legislation “that prevents the leak of sensitive information to China. “.
She said additional budget should be compiled as soon as possible to strengthen Japan’s medical system, which is under strain due to the pandemic.
A member of the more conservative wing of the party, she often visits the Yasukuni Shrine, a memorial to the war dead in Japan. Such visits by Japanese leaders infuriate former enemies of the war like China and South Korea.
She also objected to married couples keeping separate surnames, much to the dismay of women’s rights advocates.
Takaichi is scheduled to speak at 4:00 p.m. local time (7:00 GMT).
($ 1 = 110,2500 yen)
Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto and Daniel Leussink; Additional reporting by Antoni Slodkowski; Editing by Michael Perry
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