Emperor Naruhito reads a statement to formally open a Diet session in the upper house in Tokyo on Monday. Photo: AP/Eugene Hoshiko
politics

Diet convenes 150-day regular session; gov't to submit 60 bills

20 Comments

Japan's parliament convened a 150-day ordinary session on Monday, with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's government set to be grilled over possible tax hikes that would cover a planned expansion of defense spending and policies related to raising children.

In the regular Diet session through June 21, ruling and opposition parties are also expected to clash over the budget for the next fiscal year starting in April alongside other key bills including one regarding nuclear reactors.

During the session, a spate of local elections are scheduled to be held in spring, while Japan is also slated to host the Group of Seven summit in May in Kishida's constituency of Hiroshima, a western Japan city devastated by a U.S. atomic bomb in August 1945.

Kishida will take questions from representatives of each party from Wednesday after delivering a policy speech on the opening day of the latest parliamentary session.

During the Diet session, the Kishida administration, which launched in October 2021, and the ruling bloc led by the Liberal Democratic Party will aim to pass the fiscal 2023 budget by the end of March, lawmakers said.

The government intends to submit 60 bills including one that will seek to secure funds to achieve its goal of boosting the country's annual defense spending to around 2 percent of gross domestic product over the next five years, on par with NATO members, they added.

In December, Japan decided to almost double its defense spending through fiscal 2027 and to acquire defensive enemy base strike capabilities, amid mounting military threats from neighbors such as China and North Korea.

Many of Japan's opposition parties, however, have banded together in opposition to Kishida's abrupt proposal of raising taxes to finance an increase in defense spending, hoping to leverage public discontent and challenge the move.

Kishida, meanwhile, promised in his New Year press conference to focus on policies related to child-rearing in 2023, although it remains to be seen how the administration would cover the costs of implementing the proposed measures.

Other significant bills to be discussed during the regular parliamentary session will include allowing aging nuclear reactors to operate beyond their current 60-year lifespan, government sources said, despite public concerns over safety.

© KYODO

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20 Comments
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Wonder how many of the 60 bills will benefit the good people of Japan rather than the 'self-entitled.'

Not holding my breath.

9 ( +18 / -9 )

After these bills pass, two things are one hundred per cent certain

residents of Japan will pay more 2.more control and rules will be imposed on them.
0 ( +10 / -10 )

opposition to Kishida's abrupt proposal of raising taxes

Note, they mean raising tax rates, assuming that would increase tax revenues - which is often not the case.

It’s curious that Kishida’s admin has announced that from 2024 individual investors will be able to invest up to 18 million yen, and pay a 0% tax rate on the capital gains and dividends received.

That surely will reduce a big chunk of those existing tax revenues. How many people do you know who invest more than 18 million yen in stocks and the like?

Kishida should have cut the tax rate from 20% to say 5 or 10%. The lower tax rate would have attracted more investing, but not have squandered all tax revenues from such well-to-do investors.

And here they are, about to debate where to get money for defense spending from. Hello?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Kishida should have cut the tax rate from 20% to say 5 or 10%. The lower tax rate would have attracted more investing, but not have squandered all tax revenues from such well-to-do investors.

When have you ever heard of or seen a sitting PM HERE in Japan make any proposals or introduce any bills to LOWER taxes? The LDP is conservative in name only when it comes to taxes, the higher the better, because they are playing with the people's money and dont care a bit about giving back to everyone.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

This is all a bunch of BS. The LDP controls both houses of the Diet with comfortable margins, and unless the Komeito walks out on them, these bills being debated will only be a formality.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Doubling weapons spending & restarting and building new nuclear reactors....so much for Kishida supposedly being a dove.

Bet you he will try to tie any measures to raise funds for child reading support with the weapons spending so he can justify raising those taxes.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

The LDP controls both houses of the Diet with comfortable margins

And they always will because the voters are basically serfs who do what they are told

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

With the majority of number controlled by the LDP and it’s allies this will only be a lip service for the media to retain a sparkle of democracy.

Japan doesn’t comprehend the conception or alternate parties like in a full democracy.

In the end as always nothing will change.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

When have you ever heard of or seen a sitting PM HERE in Japan make any proposals or introduce any bills to LOWER taxes?

Well, that’s what their personal investment tax changes for next year are, really. But instead of merely lowering the rates, they eliminated tax entirely for investments up to 18 million yen.

This is in a country where many people are worried about being able to save 20 million yen for their retirement. And suddenly, the well-to-do will be able to invest 18 million, and pay no tax on it.

That is a tax rate cut effectively, but a reckless one, with not even a debate about the forgone revenues from a 0% tax rate.

The LDP is conservative in name only when it comes to taxes,

Well conservative in Japan still means thinking higher tax rates lead to higher revenues, although even from recent experience people here know that consumption suffered after a hike in the consumption tax rate.

There doesn’t seem to be any political party in Japan suggesting that tax rates should be low-rate (not zero though), and broad-based, which is the gold standard for good tax policy in my mind.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Anyone know what exactly the 60 bills are ?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It's hard to believe Kishida will be in the country long enough to even address the diet session. He's been all around the world banging the war drums for his US master's.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

@Awa no Gaijin I am LOL finally you asked a question I can totally agree with. Lots of comments but... as you posted "What exactly are those 60 bills and what do they contain"?

Anyone know what exactly the 60 bills are ?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm all for raising taxes if it gets spent on things that make society and people happy - like Scandanavian countries too. You know, parks with grass etc.

Won't hold my breath, though.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I'm all for raising taxes if it gets spent on

Are you for raising tax rates if it lowers tax revenues, resulting in less money for spending?

It is one thing to be for raising tax rates, another to be for raising tax revenues.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Awa no Gaijin I am LOL finally you asked a question I can totally agree with. Lots of comments but... as you posted "What exactly are those 60 bills and what do they contain"?

Anyone know what exactly the 60 bills are ?

Congratulations !

Now if there's anything intelligent or sophisticated that relates to my question that would be greatly appreciated

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Anyone know what exactly the 60 bills are ?

Good question!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan dances to NATO's tune, just like Australia. They want war so you must buy arms. War is profitable, but you die. Too bad.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Anyone know what exactly the 60 bills are ?

Good question!

Iam curious if the general public know what these 60 bills are and how many of them will possibly be approved behind closed doors ?

Can anyone provide a list of those 60 bills to be approved?

Were like mushrooms growing in the dark !

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Apparently i cannot find anywhere what those 60 bills are !

Hmm...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Apparently i cannot find anywhere what those 60 bills are !

So?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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