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Gist of interpellations at Upper House audit committee meeting, June 13, 2022

  • June 14, 2022
  • , Tokyo Shimbun , p. 9
  • JMH Translation

The following is the gist of interpellations at the Upper House audit committee meeting held on June 13, 2022:

 

Rising prices

 

Sugio Hideya (Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan): What’s your view on the recent price increases?

 

Prime Minister Kishida Fumio: They are impacting people’s livelihoods as well as corporate activity and indeed causing public anxiety about the future.

 

Sugio: You’ve said that the rate of increase in prices [in Japan] is smaller than in Europe and the United States, but that doesn’t mean the government’s measures to stem price increases have been effective. Instead, this is the result of companies’ efforts.

 

Kishida: We are implementing various measures to stem price increases, such as a program to mitigate rapid fluctuations in gasoline prices. We will maintain and enhance these measures to protect people’s livelihoods.

 

Sugio: Since wages are not increasing, people are facing increasingly tough times.   

 

Bank of Japan Governor Kuroda Haruhiko: To realize substantial wage hikes, we believe it is necessary to prop up the economy through the maintenance of monetary easing in a tenacious fashion.

 

Sugio: Now the yen-dollar exchange rate has hit the 135-yen range. Maintaining an ultraloose monetary policy does not make sense at all.

 

Kuroda: The recent rapid drop in the value of the yen is increasing the uncertainty and having a negative impact on the economy, such as making it difficult for businesses to formulate their business plans. This situation is not desirable at all. We will work closely with the government and pay close attention to the impact.

 

Daimon Mikishi (Japanese Communist Party): The impact of price increases is greater on low-income households. The consumption tax rate should be cut.

 

Kishida: We shouldn’t resort to cutting the consumption tax because it is designed to finance social welfare expenses. We will support people in need by introducing a variety of measures.

 

Ukraine evacuees

 

Satomi Ryuji (Komeito): We should continue to support the [Ukrainian] evacuees beyond the acceptance period of six months.

 

Kishida: We will make a decision on the continuation of support by assessing the Ukraine situation and the livelihoods of those who have fled to Japan.  

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