politics

Koike unveils party platform, vowing to freeze sales tax hike, end nuclear power

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By Tetsushi Kajimoto and Leika Kihara

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The party will also consider taxing big firms' massive internal reserves - worth around 300 trillion yen ($2.66 trillion) - to fill a revenue shortfall and encourage them to put unused cash to better use.

Good idea - J-Inc sits on record piles of cash while continuing to whine about not having enough people willing to work on casual contracts without security and benefits and a pitiful hourly rate. Offer FT jobs that pay well and make people feel secure about their economic future and they will go out and spend their dough on J-Inc products...kaching!...But no thats too radical a thought for most of  J-Inc,s centenarian management who just want to quietly cruise into their golden retirement. Rant over.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

To make the economic recovery real, however, we need to carry out a more meticulous economic policy and social reform that would strike people's heart

HOW? Details? You are just talking about the problems... there are no solutions here. Also saying "lets tax big business" does not help the economy it just gets you in power as it's what the people want to hear.

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At least she has the "aim to revitalise the economy", but one has questions about her policies to that end.

Yes to cutting reliance on fiscal spending and monetary easing.

Question mark arises over Japan's out-of-control spending problem, if she doesn't want to hike the tax

Question mark over how she'll bring out private sector vitality

Question mark over how she'll work with the BOJ to come up with an exit strategy to their monetization program without addressing spending problem 

Yes to "deregulation to create jobs", but need specifics of what regulations she has in mind for the cut

BIG question mark over how she'll revitalise the stock market, given she is said to "consider taxing big firms' massive internal reserves" (this is the most troublesome proposal, unless she considers it then realizes what a bad idea it would be)

Abe talked it up about his regulatory reform arrow but never delivered jack, except more talk and more elections and more revised cabinet personel. 

If Koike's party has the guts to make real reforms then it could be significant, but that idea of taxing businesses twice on their money is a terrible idea.

The new party has revealed little about how it plans to fix Japan's finances, saying only that it was important to balance the state budget through spending cuts and revenues from selling state assets. 

Well this much is good. But it's easier to talk about spending cuts than to actually fight through the vested interests (which includes virtually all residents) and make it happen. 

The idea of sales of state "assets" to knock down some of the 1,040 trillion yen of existing debt is a good idea, but whether it would produce enough to make a serious dent needs to be watched.

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Good idea - J-Inc sits on record piles of cash 

Whether there is cash just sitting around, really doing nothing, is dubious, but in any case such money belongs to the shareholders of those companies.

Japan already has rules against small businesses run by the owner to prevent personal income tax avoidance by retaining earnings in the company structure, but for larger companies, the money belongs to the shareholders, not the people earning income from the operation.

Personally, I am glad that I own zero Japanese stocks, reading this plan, to be frank. But this part of the platform doesn't give me Hope for Japan at all.

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Koike unveils party platform, vowing to freeze sales tax hike, end nuclear power

Sounds good to me

Good idea - J-Inc sits on record piles of cash while continuing to whine about not having enough people willing to work on casual contracts without security and benefits and a pitiful hourly rate. Offer FT jobs that pay well and make people feel secure about their economic future and they will go out and spend their dough on J-Inc products...kaching!...But no thats too radical a thought for most of J-Inc,s centenarian management who just want to quietly cruise into their golden retirement. Rant over.

Good rant!

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What an idiot. If we shut down nuclear plants, we will become China with its coal polluted air.

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Whether there is cash just sitting around, really doing nothing, is dubious,

Dubious? Why in the world would anyone think this way? Japanese banks pay a pittance in interest, and these companies are not investing in the stock market so just where is all the cash?

What an idiot. If we shut down nuclear plants, we will become China with its coal polluted air.

Yeah, right...and we will be seeing a nuclear disasters just waiting to happen every time there is an earthquake.

Japan has managed to function without the nuclear reactors being turned back on for nearly 6 years now. More investments will me made in clean, renewable energy, and people are already turning away from fossil fuel automobiles so what you suggest here is laughable.

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I think theres a good chance we are looking at a future or even next PM of Japan here. Her party is made up of even more right wing and nationalist figures in higher concentration than the LDP.

I dont really believe that she will phase out nuclear energy, its just a popular thing to say.

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It's really sad seen how most new parties in Japan just go with the anti-nuclear stance to appeal to a reactive populist sentiment brought by a disaster instead of making good policy.

It's really not surprise that most people that are anti-nuclear are scientifically illiterate people who do not understand the most basic principles of physics, but somehow they just "know" that nuclear power is a bad idea.

It is nothing more than an emotional reaction to the Fukushima No.1 disaster, which at the same time was blown out of proportions by the government and the media. No one has died directly from the Fukushima No.1 disaster, not even got sick because of it.

I also find how comparatively this disaster was not as grave as the Tsunami that caused it, which killed thousands, and destroyed any village or city on the coast of Tohoku to the Pacific.

The disaster was also caused because of old reactor designs, which should have been replaced many years ago, but because of Chernobyl, and another emotional negative reaction to nuclear power, the development of new reactors was slowed down, and in some cases stopped, which ironically only made things more dangerous, because once again, stopping the development of new plants has never been a good idea.

New models of reactors have passive cooling, which would have meant that something like the disaster of Fukushima No.1 could not had happened.

Regardless I know I'm going to be down-voted to oblivion because emotional reactions are way more powerful than rational thinking.

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Luis: I'm fairly scientifically literate (Ph.D in physics), but I do question the need for more nuclear power. Even if you are right that no-one died as a result of the Fukushima disaster (give it time), tens of thousands of people have had their lives ruined; they have not been adequately compensated and the cost of cleaning up the mess is horrendous.

The true cost of nuclear power should be considered when deciding whether or not to build a new plant. That includes the cost of dismantling the plant at the end of its life and the cost of storing the waste for thousands of years (at a site they still haven't built). I doubt nuclear power would be cheaper than the alternatives if all the costs were included. I also think that private companies cannot be trusted to operate nuclear power stations as they are more concerned with profits than safety.

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freeze sales tax hike, end nuclear power

Holy smoke! Bring out the big guns Koike! Abe and his cronies will be relegated to the back bench just on these two points alone! I have a feeling these policies are enough to get the masses off their sofas and inspire them to vote. This may even result in a record voter turnout. This is what the majority of Japanese people want. Let's hope the 'Hope Party' can carry out these policies. I'm pretty sure most voters have had enough of Abe and his lies.

@Temperance Raziel - What an idiot. If we shut down nuclear plants, we will become China with its coal polluted air.

So, where have you been for the past 6 years while Japan has only used fossil fuels and alternatives for energy production? The nuclear plants are already shutdown and the balance has been taken up by coal and gas. I am yet to see clouds of PM2.5 being generated in Japan. Have you seen any? China's major pollution problems do not come from coal power generation. They come from unregulated industries. It would seem that you are the idiot for posting such a ridiculous statement. The real facts are, even if Japan did achieve its goal of 20% nuclear power in the next two or three decades it would have very little effect on Japan's CO2 output. Bear in mind though, this 20% could only be achieved by using existing reactors which are already approaching their use-by dates and they would have to extend their termination dates putting the whole country in danger for using outdated technology. She's an idiot? If you really want to see an idiot, just look in the mirror.

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I think Japan has heaps of money stashed away somewhere. They don't pay out much welfare for older people and those with disabilities like other countries. They don't have free public hospitals, try to collect pension payments from everyone including those without jobs, ( other countries fund pensions from the tax take ) import foods and place huge tarrifs on them, have taxes like income tax, consumption tax, car purchasing tax, (what is the difference between the two ? ) car weight tax, other taxes related to death and property etc, etc. As a consumption tax is a fair tax, with any increase, most other taxes should go. Especially income tax on people working on an hourly rate.

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I believe the party has ゼロ chance without Koike in the leader's seat. But good luck anyway.

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Dubious? Why in the world would anyone think this way? Japanese banks pay a pittance in interest, and these companies are not investing in the stock market so just where is all the cash?

Well exactly. It's not in the tansu like with granny and grandpa. It has to be somewhere and it can't be doing nothing - if it is in foreign assets for example then 'taxing' it means it needs to be repatriated first, pushing up the yen, or otherwise incentivizing companies to relocate HQ offshore.

Not a good policy at first whiff, in my opinion. Not good at all.

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Japan has heaps of money stashed away somewhere

Yep. It's overseas. Japan is what, one of the top creditors countries of the world.

But that's money belonging to people like me, with savings invested abroad, where the opportunities are better than here, where the business environment is kibishii.

Problem is the government is out-of-control with spending. Unless they do start taxing wealth and savings, on top of income and consumption, all that money can't solve the debt and budget problems. And if they do that, the economy will suffer far worse than it did from the consumption tax hike, imo.

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(1) BOJ has been printing money in a historical dimension for some time now.

(2) Those new money is not in the hands of consumers (so prices cannot go up).

So money is not circulating, limiting effect of Abenomics.

Here comes Post-Abenomics (Yurinomics): Let's circulate money! Japan Inc has huge amount of internal reserves (24%) comparable to US (23%). The big difference between two countries is that 50% of Japan's reserve is CASH while only 4% is cash in US.

So Koike wants to kick butts of those who keep cash and not circulating: invest or hike wages! Otherwise she is going to spend for them.

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The party's fresh approach on the economy 

Fresh? Joke of the month!!

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Why doesn't it mention that she wont be supporting Foreign residents the ability to vote in local elections ???? She is completely against the idea (as stated on the japantimes website).

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The failure of Abenomics is because Abe's foreign policy against China. If Japan still hesitates, or even resists to China's economic development, then Japan has no hope but to lose all advantages of being a neighbor and cultural cousin of China.

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Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike's new party unveiled on Friday what it calls "Yurinomics"

Terrible branding effort on Koike's part when a much better moniker is staring her right in the face. Call the plan Koi-nomics and throw in billions of yen for development projects in Kabukicho. Do that and her chances of becoming PM rise substantially.

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as someone pointed out previously somewhere, it's pretty hard to get over the name urine-omics. But the name may have something to do with what the government will be continuing to do with tax-payer money?

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Scrote, it has been more than 6 years now since the accident, and there is still no sign of an increase of any type of cancer. Looking at Chernobyl, there should be a clear rise in thyroid cancer in the region, but it has not been found.

This doesn't mean there hasn't been anyone have not or will not develop some type of cancer in the future because of this accident, but I will use the words of the Chernobyl Forum in 2006 when talking about the Chernobyl accident, from which escaped many many times more radiation to the atmosphere than in the Fukushima accident.

The risk projections suggest that by now [2006] Chernobyl may have caused about 1000 cases of thyroid cancer and 4000 cases of other cancers in Europe, representing about 0.01% of all incident cancers since the accident. Models predict that by 2065 about 16,000 cases of thyroid cancer and 25,000 cases of other cancers may be expected due to radiation from the accident, whereas several hundred million cancer cases are expected from other causes.

This means that even in an accident the scale of Chernobyl, you need to use for the most time models to calculate how many people have been affected, because, when compared with patients having cancer from any other reason, the number is just very small so it cannot be easily detected.

In the case of Fukushima you can expect many times less this because the quantity of the radiation released is extremely small when compared with Chernobyl, and because the response was immediate.

About people having their lives ruined, I do think that is a big problem, and these people do require to be compensated for this, but there are many more things that must be put into perspective in light of this.

First, I think the "No-go zone" restrictions the government has put in place are way overblown. There are certain zones that indeed have higher than normal radiation levels, and even surpass the limits for nuclear workers, but there are also zones that have radiation levels equivalent to other parts of the world were people actually live without any problem, but they are still made a "No-go zone".

Not to mention that none of this zones, not even the ones with the highest radiation level are dangerous for for example, just visiting, but the government does not allow anyone to even go beyond the fence without previous authorization.

In my point of view, the government has made the problem bigger, and is one of the reasons people just can't go back to their homes.

Then there is the fact that because of the hysteria, even people who live in places

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That were said to be safe by the government standard, many do not want to stay because they fear the evil radiation, and even want compensation for they choosing to live somewhere else, which I don't think makes any sense.

In fact, the Chernobyl Forum found out that out of all the problems the Chernobyl Accident caused, the biggest that had the most deep and persisting consequences was mental health problems associated with the fear of radiation.

Now, about the economics of nuclear power, I'm ok with looking at the costs, I do not have any problem with that. I disagree that costs at the long run are not worth it, because of how cheap the fuel is for GWh.

Now, if we stop all the time plants indefinitely for "inspections" that not even the power companies are sure why they are still at inspection, the costs will be higher.

Just an example, Hokkaido, have the highest electricity cost in the whole country, which is up to 8 yen more per KWh than the rest of the country, the costs have risen to this point since the only plan in Hokkaido, the Tomari Nuclear power plant has been in an eternal "inspection" for 5 years now. This plant was producing about 30 percent of all the electric power for Hokkaido, so it makes sense now that the prices have rose.

The plant has to still be maintained, so it isn't like those costs disappear. And if they were to decommission, this plant which has no problem, it would not only be a waste of the investment tax payers did on the plant, but also it would cost money to decommission it.

Politicians are not talking about that, they are talking about just banning Nuclear without more reasons than "Fukushima".

Using modern Nuclear power plants would be, I think, more safe and more cheap than using fossil fuels, not to mention that for all the people who case about global warming, in the option which makes the most sense.

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60 years ago, there was a reason to develop nuclear technology for energy purpose. Today, this is not necessary. There are better technologies available and Japan is in a better position. Unlike China, Japan has limited population and limited land, nuclear energy isn't the best way for the nation. If Japan had focused on solar energy and wind energy 20 years ago, perhaps today Japan would have profited a lot by export the technologies to China. Japan must develop a strategy for 100 years, not 100 days.

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she wont be supporting Foreign residents the ability to vote in local elections...

Just like USA.

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