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Gov’t to launch JA-JETRO-regional banks consortia to promote agricultural exports

(Sankei: December 28, 2015 – Top play)    It was learned on Dec. 27 that the government plans to set up consortia to support farmers involving the Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives (JA Zenchu), the independent administrative agency Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), regional banks, and other institutions next spring, in anticipation of the TPP agreement’s prospective effectuation. By launching….Read more

  • 2015-12-28 15:00:00
  • , Sankei
  • Translation

POLITICS

Nikkei poll: 56% approve of reduced tax rate; opposition to consumption tax hike falls to 47%

(Nikkei: December 28, 2015 – p. 1)    According to a poll conducted by Nikkei Inc. and TV Tokyo on Dec. 25–27, supporters of introducing the reduced tax rate of 8% on food, excluding alcohol and restaurant meals, when the consumption tax is raised to 10% in April 2017 outnumber opponents 56% to 34%. At 47%, fewer than half of….Read more

  • 2015-12-28 15:00:00
  • , Nikkei
  • Translation

POLITICS

Kyodo poll: 59% critical of postponing decision on provisions for reduced tax

(Tokyo Shimbun: December 28, 2015 – p. 2)    In its nationwide telephone poll conducted on Dec. 26–27, Kyodo News asked respondents for their views on the postponement of the decision on how to make provisions for the 1 trillion yen loss in tax revenues that will arise when the reduced consumption tax rate is introduced alongside the tax hike….Read more

  • 2015-12-28 15:00:00
  • , Tokyo Shimbun
  • Translation

POLITICS

Asahi poll: 47% disapprove of the scope of application of the reduced consumption tax rates

(Asahi: December 22, 2015 – p. 3)    The Asahi Shimbun conducted a telephone-based public opinion survey across the nation on Dec. 19–20. In the survey, respondents were asked whether they approve of the decision by the LDP and Komeito to keep the consumption tax rate at 8% for food in general (excluding alcoholic beverages and eating out) and newspapers.….Read more

  • 2015-12-22 15:00:00
  • , Asahi
  • Translation

POLITICS

Gov’t to double Tourism Agency budget in FY2016

(Yomiuri: December 22, 2015 – p. 2)    The government decided on Dec. 21 to increase budget allocations for the Tourism Agency in the proposed FY2016 budget to around 20 billion yen, or double that in the initial FY2015 budget. This is a very unusual step since the agency itself requested only 14.2 billion yen. This reflects Prime Minister Shinzo….Read more

  • 2015-12-22 15:00:00
  • , Yomiuri
  • Translation

POLITICS

LDP cutting corporate tax rate in return for corporate donations

(Mainichi: December 21, 2015, Evening edition – p.2)    It is so obvious. The Liberal Democratic Party included a cut in the effective corporate tax rate in proposed revisions to the taxation system for fiscal 2016 as if it were returning a favor for political donations from big corporations. Japan’s three megabanks also resumed political donations for the first time….Read more

  • 2015-12-22 15:00:00
  • , Mainichi
  • Translation

POLITICS

Record low Fiscal Investment and Loan Program budget for FY2016

(Nikkei: December 22, 2015 – p. 5)    The Finance Ministry plans to keep allocations for the Fiscal Investment and Loan Program (Zaito), which provides funding for projects that are difficult for the private sector to finance, at the 13 trillion yen level in FY2016. This represents a scale down of the initial proposed budget for three years in a….Read more

  • 2015-12-22 15:00:00
  • , Nikkei
  • Translation

POLITICS

Diet debate to start in early next year over lower tax rate, TPP, etc.

(Asahi: December 19, 2015 – p. 4)    The Steering Committee of the House of Representatives decided on Dec. 18 on a schedule for the start of the regular Diet session to be convened on Jan. 4 next year. With the House of Councillors election coming up in July, the ruling and opposition parties will likely intensify their battle over….Read more

  • 2015-12-21 15:00:00
  • , Asahi
  • Translation

POLITICS

Defense budget to exceed 5 trillion yen for first time

(Asahi: December 20, 2015 – p. 1)    By Isamu Nikaido, Takeshi Narabe    The government decided on a defense budget of 5.05 trillion yen in the fiscal 2016 draft budget. The defense budget will now have increased for four consecutive years since the inauguration of the second Abe administration. The amount will exceed 5 trillion yen for the first….Read more

  • 2015-12-21 15:00:00
  • , Asahi
  • Translation

POLITICS

Editorial: Gov’t can’t gain understanding for increase in sympathy budget

(Tokyo Shimbun: December 21, 2015 – p. 5)    Japan will increase its base-hosting burden, known as omoiyari yosan (“sympathy budget”). Japan’s demand for reducing its burden was rejected by the U.S. side. Amid Japan’s fiscal condition becoming increasingly severe, we wonder whether the government can win the understanding of the public.    The Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA)….Read more

  • 2015-12-21 15:00:00
  • , Tokyo Shimbun
  • Translation
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