All national dailies wrote that Prime Minister Kishida delivered a policy speech to both houses of the Diet on Monday. The premier started his speech by saying that the government will “prepare for the worst” in dealing with the Omicron variant of COVID-19. He pledged that the government would shorten the interval between second and third shots from the previous plan of eight months. He also said the government will start issuing on Dec. 20 digital certificates for people who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. He added that the government will make efforts to get the economy back on track while carefully watching the infection situation.
Kishida touched on what he calls “a new form of capitalism,” saying that his administration will designate innovation, digitalization, climate change, and economic security as the four areas of policy focus in his post-COVID growth strategy. The premier pledged to revitalize regional economies by creating a “superhighway” of undersea cables for high-speed Internet communications in about three years. He also vowed to drastically increase tax incentives for firms that raise wages.
On foreign and security affairs, Kishida said that he will seek to develop a constructive and stable relationship with China. Concerning the Futenma Air Station’s relocation to Henoko, Kishida said that his government will strive to develop a relationship of trust with residents through sincere dialogue to move the relocation project forward. The premier pledged to review the National Security Strategy and the National Defense Program Guidelines in about a year to enhance Japan’s missile defense capabilities. He vowed to consider every option to bolster Japan’s defense capabilities, including acquiring the capability to strike enemy bases.
The papers wrote that although Kishida stressed that his government will strengthen measures to tackle the coronavirus and revitalize Japan’s economy, he failed to provide specific plans.