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Outline of Abe’s Diet policy speech on Jan. 22 revealed

  • 2016-01-20 15:00:00
  • , Sankei
  • Translation

(Sankei: January 20, 2016 – p. 2)

 

 The outline of the policy speech that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will deliver to the plenary sessions of both houses of the Diet on Jan. 22 was revealed on Jan. 19. Abe will express his determination to play a leading role in resolving the international community’s issues, such as counterterrorism, as the host of the G7 Ise-Shima Summit. The speech will elaborate on how Japan will take up the challenge in four areas: world economy, regional revitalization, realization of a society of dynamic engagement of all citizens, and building a better world.

 

 Reflecting the Japan-ROK agreement on the comfort women issue late last year, the speech calls the ROK “the most important neighbor with which Japan share common basic values and interests.” Last year, the ROK was merely termed “the most important neighbor,” in light of the deterioration of bilateral relations, such as over the indictment without arrest of former Sankei Shimbun Seoul Bureau chief Tatsuya Kato.

 

 Abe will call for the expansion of child care support and propose a plan to increase the capacity of nursing care facilities for 500,000 people in order to realize a society of dynamic engagement of all citizens.

 

 In relation to the TPP, Abe will emphasize the generation of economic growth as the goal of Japan and the world, in addition to promoting the export of agricultural products.

 

 He will clearly state that a reduced tax rate will apply to food and drink, except for alcoholic beverages and eating out, when the consumption tax rate is raised to 10% in April 2017.

 

 Meanwhile, the goal of restoring fiscal health by achieving a primary balance by FY32 will be maintained. Budget allocations will be secured for post-Great East Japan Earthquake reconstruction in the five years from FY28, which is termed a “period of reconstruction and revitalization.” He will also indicate his intent to consider the creation of a corporate version of the “benefit-your-locality” tax scheme to enable companies to make donations to local governments and programs for regional revitalization through the promotion of tourism.

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