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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

POLITICS

Yomiuri poll finds that 55% support lower tax rate on food

(Yomiuri: December 19, 2015 – p. 1)    The Yomiuri Shimbun conducted a spot opinion poll on Dec. 17–18 after the decision by the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito to introduce reduced tax rates when the consumption tax is raised to 10% in April 2017. The survey found that 55% of respondents “approve” of the decision to apply reduced tax….Read more

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

POLITICS

Jumping the gun on TPP countermeasures

(Tokyo Shimbun: December 19, 2015 – p. 6)    The government has included 340.3 billion yen in the supplementary budget for TPP countermeasures mainly related to agriculture, forestry, and fisheries. At the same time, however, the Japanese government has yet to finish its provisional calculations of the TPP’s impact on domestic industries, as it is not sure when the TPP….Read more

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

POLITICS

Further depreciation of the yen would boost exports and burden household budgets

(Asahi: December 18, 2015 – p. 3)    By Daisuke Ikuta    Interpretations of the impact of the Fed’s interest rate hike vary in Japan. On the morning of Dec. 17, Economic Revitalization Minister Akira Amari said, “Markets are responding positively. It will also be a plus for the Japanese economy over the medium term if our neighboring economies become….Read more

  • 2015-12-18 15:00:00
  • , Asahi
  • Translation

POLITICS

Gov’t to include funding for tree planting in China in FY2015 supplementary budget

(Asahi: December 17, 2015 – p. 4)    By Takeshi Narabe    The government has decided to allocate 9 billion yen to support China’s afforestation efforts through the “Japan-China tree planting support project.”    While there is opposition in the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to providing aid to China, claiming this is “just another form of official development assistance (ODA),”….Read more

  • 2015-12-17 15:00:00
  • , Asahi
  • Translation

POLITICS

MOFA requests counterterrorism allocations in FY2015 supplementary budget

(Asahi: December 17, 2015 – p. 4)    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) presented an outline of its requests for the FY2015 supplementary budget at a joint meeting of Liberal Democratic Party divisions involved with foreign policy on Dec. 16. MOFA will request a total of approximately 210 billion yen, with allocations of around 120 billion yen for the….Read more

  • 2015-12-17 15:00:00
  • , Asahi
  • Translation

POLITICS

Farm Ministry, METI request TPP-related allocations in FY2015 supplementary budget

(Mainichi: December 17, 2015 – p. 6)    By Yusuke Matsukura, Mikako Yokoyama    The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) presented its proposed allocation requests totaling 298.5 billion yen for TPP-related measures for Japanese farmers in the FY2015 supplementary budget to a Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) meeting on Dec. 16. However, there were calls from LDP members to….Read more

  • 2015-12-17 15:00:00
  • , Mainichi
  • Translation

POLITICS

Japan hopes for a stable supply of oil as the U.S. moves toward crude oil exports

(Yomiuri: December 17, 2015 – p. 11)    On Dec. 15, U.S. congressional leaders from both the ruling and opposition parties agreed to submit a bill to fully remove the ban on the export of domestically produced crude oil. If the bill is passed, it would end an export embargo that has been in place for about 40 years. Behind….Read more

  • 2015-12-17 15:00:00
  • , Yomiuri
  • Translation

POLITICS

Yen loans for aid to developing countries being used for promoting exports

(Tokyo Shimbun: December 17, 2015 – pp. 28-29)    By Yoko Nakayama, Nobuyuki Suzuki    Yen loans meant for supporting infrastructure construction in the developing countries to enhance their economic self-reliance are being used to promote exports. The government has decided to provide up to 1.4 trillion yen in loans to India to underwrite the use of Shinkansen technology, which….Read more

  • 2015-12-17 15:00:00
  • , Tokyo Shimbun
  • Translation

POLITICS

Government creates platform to strengthen collaboration to promote “Cool Japan”

(Nikkei: December 16, 2015 – p. 4)    As part of its efforts to promote Cool Japan, an initiative which aims to inform the international community about Japanese culture, the government set up the Cool Japan Public-Private Partnership Platform on Dec. 15. The platform aims to encourage collaboration among the public and private sectors and among different industries, and it….Read more

  • 2015-12-16 15:00:00
  • , Nikkei
  • Translation
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