Japan’s upcoming parliamentary session, scheduled to commence on Friday, is poised to revolve around a heated debate concerning a proposed economic stimulus package aimed at addressing surging inflation and distributing financial aid to households. This session, spanning until December 13, will culminate in the budget committee’s discussions, where the government will encounter inquiries spanning diverse topics, including the recent economic initiatives, defense budget allocation, and social security expenditures.
Proposed reforms by Japan’s PM
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has stressed the importance of prioritizing economic growth over cost savings. He has proposed the idea of lowering income tax and potentially reducing the current consumption tax rate of 10% to 5%, as a means to stimulate economic expansion.
After several weeks of internal discussions, Yosuke Takagi, the policy chief of the Komeito sub-party, and Koichi Hagiuda, the chief of the Liberal Democratic Party, jointly submitted their proposals for economic measures.
Prime Minister Kishida is scheduled to deliver his report to both the Lower and Upper houses on Monday. Following the presentation, the bill will undergo a debate, and once a consensus is reached, it will be put into effect.
Counter-Criticism from Opposing Parties
The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDP), the largest opposition, argued that the economic measures must focus on low-income groups and stated that the tax cuts are a mere diversion. They also emphasized that the delays in commencing the assembly session regarding inflation contributed to its subsequent increase.
The Secretary of Nippon Ishin no Kai expressed similar sentiments, labeling the LDP’s policies as outdated. While these two opposing parties have found common ground in their criticism of the LDP, they remain firmly against the idea of joint participation in elections, although politics can be unpredictable.
The minor issues that must be addressed include legalizing the use of marijuana or at least introducing sanctions for the same.
There are discussions about the possibility of a snap election due to a decline in the approval ratings of the ruling party. PM Kishida is witnessing a decline in his popularity and might consider waiting until the following year before calling for early elections. Additionally, two of his cabinet ministers, Ayuko Kato and Reconstruction Minister Shinako Tsuchiya, are currently under investigation for alleged mismanagement of political funds.