Factbox: Key policies of the next Japanese Prime Minister Kishida, a consensus builder

Liberal Democratic Party (PLD) presidential candidate former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida delivers a campaign speech in Tokyo, Japan on September 17, 2021. Yoshikazu Tsuno / Pool via REUTERS

TOKYO, Sept. 29 (Reuters) – Former Japanese foreign minister Fumio Kishida won the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leadership election on Wednesday, virtually assuring that he replaces Yoshihide Suga as prime minister.

Prime Minister Suga, who has seen his support drop amid a spike in COVID-19 cases, announced this month he was stepping down. The winner of the PLD elections is guaranteed to become prime minister within days due to the party’s parliamentary majority.

A former Hiroshima banker, Kishida spearheaded Japan’s efforts to complete US President Barack Obama’s landmark 2016 visit to the city devastated by US bombings seven decades earlier.

Asked about his leadership style, Kishida, 64, said last month that finding a bottom-up consensus is just as important in politics as a top-down approach.

He is now leading the PLD towards general elections slated for November.

Here are some of Kishida’s positions on key policies.

ECONOMY

Kishida had said that if he were to become a leader, fiscal consolidation would be a major pillar of policy. He also expressed doubts about the Bank of Japan’s ultra-loose policies, saying in 2018 that the stimulus could not last forever.

As the economy suffers from the pandemic, Kishida backed down to say the BOJ must maintain its massive stimulus measures.

He proposed a spending program of more than 30 trillion yen, adding that Japan is unlikely to increase the sales tax rate by 10% “for about a decade.”

“Tax reform is the direction we need to move in the long term, although we will not try to close Japan’s deficit with immediate tax hikes,” he said on Saturday. Read more

He stressed the need to distribute more wealth to households, in contrast to the focus of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “Abenomics” policies on increasing corporate profits in the hope that the benefits would trickle down. on employees.

DIPLOMACY, SECURITY

Kishida believes that Japan, in cooperation with the United States and other like-minded countries, should strongly oppose the growing assertion of authoritarian regimes like China.

“In order to protect universal values ​​such as freedom, democracy, the rule of law and human rights, we must say firmly what needs to be said in the face of the expansion of authoritarian regimes like China, everything by cooperating with countries that share these values. , he said this month.

Kishida plans to strengthen the capacity of the coast guard, as Japan remains at loggerheads with China over the sovereignty of a group of small islets in the East China Sea.

Kishida supports the passage of a parliamentary resolution condemning China’s treatment of members of the Uyghur minority and wants to appoint an assistant to the prime minister to monitor their human rights situation.

China denies accusations of abuse.

Kishida sees acquiring the ability to strike enemy bases as a viable option, as North Korea continues with its nuclear and missile programs.

He welcomes Taiwan’s offer to join a free trade pact called the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, whose members include Australia, Canada, Japan and New Zealand.

ENERGY, CLIMATE CHANGE

The Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 severely damaged public confidence in nuclear power, but Kishida believes it should remain an energy option to ensure stable and affordable electricity.

Japan is striving to meet its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050 and a drastic reduction in electricity generation from fossil fuels is inevitable.

“I think renewables are important. But when I wonder if relying solely on renewables is enough, I think we need to have other options ready, like hydrogen, small nuclear facilities and nuclear fusion “he said recently.

COVID-19 RESPONSE

Amid criticism that too many ministries are responsible for coronavirus measures, Kishida plans to give a new government agency a lead role in the response.

He sees the development of drugs and large-scale vaccination as the key to a return to normal life.

“Efforts are being made to develop oral medicines and make them widely available by the end of the year and the government must support these efforts,” Kishida told reporters this month.

“I want us to get closer and achieve the goal of bringing our socio-economic activity back to near normal levels early next year.”

Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka Editing by Robert Birsel

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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