Kishida makes international debut, while facing challenges at home

As Thursday marked a month since taking office, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s international debut was behind him, but a series of domestic issues awaited him.

Kishida produced results in his diplomatic debut in Scotland, analysts say.

During the whirlwind trip to Glasgow, the Prime Minister on Tuesday pledged additional financial support from Japan to developing countries ‘fight against global warming, in a speech at a leaders’ meeting held as part of the 26th Conference parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP26.

In the Scottish town, Kishida also met with US President Joe Biden and other foreign leaders.

The prime minister, who returned home on Wednesday, is now ready to work on issues such as compiling a supplementary state budget for fiscal year 2021 to fund large-scale economic stimulus. ladder.

Kishida became prime minister on October 4 and launched his cabinet the same day.

“I could demonstrate our country’s initiative for decarbonization to Asia and the rest of the world,” Kishida told reporters early Wednesday, after ending the string of diplomatic events in Glasgow.

After being Minister of Foreign Affairs for four years and eight months, Kishida has a solid background in diplomacy.

In the speech at the COP26 world leaders’ summit, he said Japan will provide up to $ 10 billion in additional aid over the next five years to help decarbonize developing countries. Asia.

In addition to Biden, Kishida met with British, Australian and Vietnamese leaders, as well as Biden. Kishida and foreign leaders reconfirmed their countries’ intentions to work to secure a free and open Indo-Pacific region, apparently with China in mind.

In their first brief face-to-face meeting, Kishida and Biden agreed to further strengthen the Japan-U.S. Alliance.

They also confirmed that Kishida will travel to the United States as soon as possible. The two countries are expected to start organizing a possible trip to the United States this year by the Japanese leader.

Meanwhile, Climate Action Network, or CAN, an international non-governmental organization, at COP26 awarded Japan the Fossil of the Day Prize, awarded to a country the group says is not keen on the idea. to take action against global warming.

CAN awarded the prize to Japan apparently because Kishida did not say in the speech at the COP26 summit that Japan would end coal-fired thermal power generation, a major source of gas emissions at greenhouse effect.

At home, Kishida is expected to launch his new administration next Wednesday, following the victory of his ruling Liberal Democratic Party in Sunday’s elections to the House of Representatives, the very important lower house of the Diet, the Japanese parliament.

It will also speed up the work of selecting the successor to Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, who is expected to become secretary general of the PLD. The staff change comes as the current secretary general of the PLD, Akira Amari, lost his constituency seat in the lower house ballot and was barely elected to the house under the proportional representation system.

It was announced Thursday that Kishida himself will take on the role of acting foreign minister.

A pillar of the next economic package will be a plan to provide cash benefits to people hard hit by the novel coronavirus crisis.

The LDP and its coalition partner, Komeito, are preparing to launch discussions on the amount of aid and the scope of beneficiaries. But the talks might not go smoothly, knowledgeable sources said.

Kishida will also set up a panel to increase the salaries of caregivers and nurserymen.

All eyes will be on the Prime Minister’s ability to achieve a virtuous cycle of growth and redistribution, a key policy he promised during his campaign for the general election.

A senior LDP official called for swift action, saying, “Prices are rising due to rising crude oil prices and the depreciation of the yen.”

The next major political event for Kishida will be next summer’s election to the House of Councilors, the Diet’s upper house.

Kishida plans to make every effort to implement the political promises he made during the Lower House election campaign and the LDP leadership race in September.

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