Japan LDP leadership battle: Fumio Kishida vows fairer society

Japan LDP leadership battle: Fumio Kishida vows fairer society

Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

The announcement by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga that he would step down means an internal battle to replace him is ongoing within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Several candidates have come forward. However, unlike others, Fumio Kishida promises to focus on a fairer society.

Kishida, the former foreign minister, is also known for being more statecraft and pragmatic internationally. Henceforth, nationalist tendencies within the current Foreign Ministry will be contained if Kishida is elected to be the next leader of the LDP.

Yet, the most potent part of his policy internally concerns the redistribution of wealth in Japan. Thus, Kishida implies that the more “dog-eat-dog” society of Junichiro Koizumi needs altering.

Henceforth, Kishida is harking back to the days of Hayato Ikeda many decades ago concerning an innovative version of the Income Doubling Plan. However, adapted to the changing economic, technological, and working styles of modern times – yet with the theme being a fairer society.

Ikeda focused on expanding the social safety net, economic incentives to increase exports, several tax breaks, and investments to be targeted at weaknesses within the business community. Of course, Kishida knows that Ikeda was part of a dynamic expansionist period for Japan, unlike the recent decades of limited to stagnant economic growth.

Kishida hopes his new policies – if elected – will “create a new Japanese-style capitalism.”

He continued, “Without distribution of wealth there won’t be a rise in consumption and demand… there won’t be further growth if the distribution of wealth is lost.”

It remains to be seen if Kishida can win over the LDP and emerge victoriously. However, at least he promises a new style of governance.

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