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GOJ’s “new capitalism” doctrine loses “Kishida color” amid market anxiety

Sunday’s Nikkei highlighted the action plan that the GOJ has formulated for achieving the “new form of capitalism” that Prime Minister Kishida pledged to pursue when he won the LDP presidential election last fall, noting that the premier’s initial goals of promoting wealth distribution and rectifying the growing income gap now appear to be elusive in the face of skepticism among business leaders and stock market players. In waging the LDP campaign, Kishida stressed the need for a capital gains tax, which he apparently regarded as critical to narrow the wealth gap that had widened under the former Abe administration. According to the paper, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kihara, who as Kishida’s “brain” for many years drafted the economic speech that the premier delivered to bankers and the business community in London in May, said to Japanese securities analysts ahead of Kishida’s London speech that there would be no capital gains tax. The premier also said in the London remarks that the administration’s economic policy would be shaped while listening carefully to the opinions of market players. The business daily observed that Kishida’s desire to make the Japanese economy “kinder, warmer, and more inclusive” has faded amid opposition from former Prime Minster Abe, who felt that Kishida was leaning toward socialism because he rejected Abenomics, as well as plunges in stock prices caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and investors’ anxiety about the uncertain prospects for the “new capitalism” policy.

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