Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks at an event hosted by the Economic Club of New York in New York on Thursday. Photo: AP/Seth Wenig
politics

Kishida pledges to set up special zones to boost foreign investment

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There needs to be more for a special zone. Just having everything in English isn't going to attract overseas investment, Japan needs to provide inroads into the economy.

22 ( +26 / -4 )

the premier told an audience at the City of London, or London's primary financial district, in May last year, "Invest in Kishida."

No. Invest in Japan.

Kishida will be around for 1 or maybe 2 more years. A little bizarre he is involving his name with an appeal for long term foreign investment.

18 ( +29 / -11 )

Japan isn’t a third world country. What the government needs to do to stimulate its stagnated economy is pump in more government spending to induce domestic investment and kickstart consumption, which makes up roughly 60 percent of its GDP. Kishida is completely off the point.

15 ( +25 / -10 )

A special zone is not necessary. Improvements/ changes to Japan's bureaucracy in areas such as banking, personnel, housing, import/ export, business administration, etc., would do more to encourage investment, rather than a few thousand acres of special unused land.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Japan needs to provide inroads into the economy.

People have been saying this for literally more than a generation. Back during the bubble years, Japan could do no wrong, and no one here cared anything about "foreign" investment. After the bubble popped, and then the "Lehman Shock" and all the broken arrows of Abe's failures, people are loosing money, and the economy is forever stagnant.

The "inroads" can't happen until the old farts who are holding all the strings are put out to pasture!

7 ( +20 / -13 )

Legal and tax systems have to be addressed to be fair and transparent. Until then - nothing.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

"Kishida, who became prime minister in October 2021, has expressed eagerness to take necessary measures to grapple with the negative effects of the country's falling birthrate and aging population on the broader economy."

Yes, however "expressing eagerness to take measures " and actually taking those measures are two completely different things.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Emphasizing the importance of Japan's revival in the international asset management sector to shore up the economy, the premier told an audience at the City of London, or London's primary financial district, in May last year, "Invest in Kishida."

Kishida to asset managers: Oligarchs love us!

I suppose having more international capital and wealth management notorious for avoiding taxes and returning zero benefit to the public is what Kishida meant by "New Capitalism" and distribution of hoarded wealth.

https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2021/10/83b734bcc16e-1000-japan-firms-people-named-in-pandora-papers-on-tax-havens.html

4 ( +12 / -8 )

FYI.

According to the World Bank, in 2022, based on GDP, the ranking are as follows:

US

China

Japan

Germany

India

UK

France

Russian Federation

Canada

Italy
4 ( +6 / -2 )

With one of the lowest percentage of (FDI) foreign direct investment in the WHOLE world, Kishida might want to address the issues as to why that is, first.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

factcheckerToday  12:25 pm JST

It would help if this country started taking English language ability and being flexible around idiotic rules and beuocracy as seriously as it's other Asian competitors do.

All this pledging, eyeing and oking will amount to zero.

Nothing will change.

Have to concur. But they can’t and the won’t because like the old saying goes, necessity is the root of all change. Until the leadership class realize that they can’t just burden these ‘hot potato’ ideas to their subjugates and then expect magic to happen then we will keep going absolutely nowhere fast. Have been watching from my corner of the game for 25 plus years now, looking for the one who wholeheartedly believes in what he/she is doing, what needs to be done and someone that leads from the front. Closest thing I’ve found is in the sports world ( and trust me I’ve been searching ) which is sort of guaranteed because you can’t fake sports. Apart from that it’s an absolute S show. Pretending to gambaru is the job, sickly sweet optics that no one believes in, a sense of hopelessness sets in and everyone just goes through the motions. Realized a few months back on a nightly jog, these blokes don’t actually want to lead , they just want to be served.

New economic zones, education reform, self serving bureaucracies, engrained sustainable mediocrity everyone sees it but the top boys want to be celebrated for it. Kishidas just thE latest charisma challenged dude at the helm that won’t last. Round and round we go. Sorry for the rant! Luckily life ain’t all about work, so still love the place, promise!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

said who?

empty suit?

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Japan isn’t even like a SF time-slip themed film.

At least when people from the past go into the future there is some revolutionary change -in Japan, the past, present and future are the same twilight shade of grey…eternally

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Invest in Kishida

No.

His political expiry is around the corner. These are his last futile attempts. There's not that much the government can do to bring foreign investment when the local companies insist on their outdated business practices and expect the rest of the world to bend over backwards for them.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

I guess the bigger problem is what is meant with investing. The difference is , that foreign investors not only want to invest and gain profits silently, no , here they also want educate, set the rules, want equal rights, board participation, bring their own weird and woke ideas or concepts, set the ethics, moral, business style and culture, latest if the investment would be 50% plus one share they would come up with all that. And this is surely not what is meant here and intended by Kishida and the affiliated local business world here. To translate it right, bring as much money in as you can and you'll make extraordinary big profits, but keep it all and yourself silent and your mouth shut. And that's exactly right and how to handle it, if you are a foreign investor and have corrected your former misunderstanding.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The main areas that need to be covered are labor practices, relaxing tax regulations, and easing administrative burdens on foreign firms trying to operate in Japan. Having zones in English is not much of a benefit since companies usually hire local Japanese or foreigners who speak the language. Labor laws that make it hard to terminate low performing employees is problematic and creates for a tight labor market. Heavy tax burdens and VAT is also problematic for growth. The difficulty of contracting and paying vendors outside of Japan is stifling. All Administrative forms and processes need to be brought online and must be simplified (paper forms are antiquated). And the need for face to face meetings for everything slows the pace of business significantly. Teleconferencing must become the new norm.

if these changes can be made, foreign companies will be more likely to start operations in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All talk, no action!

In the 20+ years I have lived in Japan, PMs trot out this old chestnut every few years and exactly nothing happens. Fix taxation and a myriad of other issues first then there might be some progress.

-1 ( +16 / -17 )

I hope he told them about Japan's wonderful tax system for foreigners, such as the world's steepest inheritance tax, an exit tax for foreigners leaving Japan, or how the government takes away 20% of a person's pension if they retire in Canada, Germany and other designated countries.

 zones tailored specifically for asset management business 

Is Japan aiming to become the next Panama? The AUM industry continues to be subject to tougher and tougher regulations and scrutiny globally, especially by the Japanese tax authorities, who are demanding greater disclosure on the grounds of anti-money laundering and terrorism. Singapore and Switzerland are no longer havens. If Japan started having deregulated zones, I imagine a huge chunk of the world's financial industry would immediately pull up stakes and rush here.

 

domestic demand in the world's third-biggest economy has stagnated amid a declining population.

Um, that's kind of what you'd expect. Rising consumption with a shrinking population would be quite extraordinary.

-2 ( +20 / -22 )

Meiyouwenti

Today 07:47 am JST

What the government needs to do to stimulate its stagnated economy is pump in more government spending to induce domestic investment and kickstart consumption, which makes up roughly 60 percent of its GDP.

Isn't that what they always do? It doesn't seem to be having much effect.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Make rules more attractive.

Until then, I am not going to come to work and invest in Japan.

About the future, it is bleak with 1 million less inhabitants per year for the next 30 years, at least ! And over 35% are 65+ ! Families have no future but oligarchs/gerontocrats yes !

One thing that will help Japan a lot is the continuous crash of the yen.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The "inroads" can't happen until the old farts who are holding all the strings are put out to pasture!

Don’t hold your breath.

3 lost decades. Today’s old farts were younger farts before, during the previous generation of old farts.

Things will have to get worse before that will catalyze significant change, methinks.

-3 ( +17 / -20 )

Look at the results of Dejima!

Damn. You beat me to it.

This is actually a great metaphor.

Japan needs to channel Meiji Ishin, not Tokugawa Dejima.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

The fraud on a plane.

The worst leader in the world

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I would ask Renault how to whole "invest in Japanese companies" thing worked out.

Also, I don't see how you can prevent intellectual property from leaving Japan under such conditions, which is a consideration for cash-rich countries that don't respect patent laws but would very much like to own Japanese biotech.

-4 ( +18 / -22 )

To encourage new entry from overseas, we will establish special business zones tailored specifically for asset management business where administrative procedure can be completed solely in English," Kishida said.

Oh Jesus, not the ole “do everything in Engrish, that’ll fix all of our probrems” carry on. The magic button effect. If I had a penny for every time some old geeza told me that we should just teach all our classes solely in English nonsense then I’d be a rich gaijin! Ever tried it mate? We are dealing with some of the greatest ‘tune outers’ ( and were never even inners! ) known to mankind. Where carrying your body from place to place is apparently suffice!

address Japan's unique business practices

Bet every long term expat in Japan got a wee giggle out of that one too!

Wish you luck Mr Kishida but will wait until we here some of the actual details of the plan. Are there to be tax breaks and incentives for foreign investors and businesses, a streamlining of the bureaucratic process in selected cities? Will they encourage a mindset of “YES, Why Not?” for new ideas and projects? Will bureaucrats have an epitome and realize that their job is to make it easier to do business here rather than harder? The end of exceptionalism? If so, make it Fukui please. We are in desperate need of a kebab shop!

-4 ( +16 / -20 )

Kishida pledges to set up special zones to boost foreign investment.............In which country? He is rarely in Japan these days..........this was my attempt at sarcasm.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

investment ghettos then....

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

address Japan's unique business practices

Shouldnt this be "archaic" business practices? Oh and if history is any help here, setting up "zones" wont do much good. Look at the results of Dejima!

-5 ( +22 / -27 )

I hope he told them about Japan's wonderful tax system for foreigners, such as the world's steepest inheritance tax, an exit tax for foreigners leaving Japan, or how the government takes away 20% of

Amen, JeffLee! Amen!

These “special” zones are a throwback to the Tokugawa era. Just make the whole country easier to business - for all comers.

And yes, abolish the inheritance taxes like myriad other developed countries.

-5 ( +11 / -16 )

It would help if this country started taking English language ability and being flexible around idiotic rules and beuocracy as seriously as it's other Asian competitors do.

All this pledging, eyeing and oking will amount to zero.

Nothing will change.

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

Will the 778% tariff on imported rice be lowered in these "zones"?

-6 ( +25 / -31 )

Or, starting to think about considering to start thinking about a pre-meeting before the meeting about who should attend the meeting and where do they sit.

-6 ( +10 / -16 )

Absolutely. But the Japanese like to pretend that their incompetence is just a result of the world not understanding their uniqueness. But the world is catching on.

Used to be a time when people wanted to rush into Japan, looking to make money, but came to the realization that it just isnt worth the trouble.

-7 ( +13 / -20 )

Unless Japan drastically changed it's justice system, I would not recommend any investment in Japan. As for "zones", I assume that means run down areas of Japan.

-8 ( +24 / -32 )

"I would urge you to evaluate what we are doing in my country, look at the underlying strength of our economy and our plans for the future and then invest in Japan," Kishida said at the Economic Club of New York, a group of top business executives and bankers.

He thinks he can pull the all talk, no action BS with the top business execs and bankers in NYC?

All they need to do, is one quick google search of how useless Kishida is, and it's game over.

How much longer is this tour for Kishida anyways? All I see is a bunch of nonsense spewing for the past week.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

So it's an announcement that they are starting to plan. Awesome.

-9 ( +8 / -17 )

domestic demand in the world's third-biggest economy has stagnated amid a declining population.

Why is a decline or slow down in economic growth still portrayed in a negative context?

Here is a classic case where economic growth should not be pursued. Less people will consume less resources but can be just as well off.

The world economy already consuming round 1.7 earths worth of natural resources (https://www.myclimate.org/en/information/faq/faq-detail/what-is-an-ecological-footprint/).

With this reality, any slow down in economic growth is a GOOD thing.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

"I would urge you to evaluate what we are doing in my country,

Bad idea Kish Kun.

look at the underlying strength of our economy

And what are those exactly? Inflation is up, wages have been stagnant for decades, the Japanese have much less purchasing power than their western counterparts, and efficiency is a joke.

and our plans for the future

The world's oldest country talking about plans for the future without immigration or how to raise the fertility rate....

and then invest in Japan," Kishida said at the Economic Club of New York, a group of top business executives and bankers.

Or not.

address Japan's unique business practices

Shouldnt this be "archaic" business practices?

Absolutely. But the Japanese like to pretend that their incompetence is just a result of the world not understanding their uniqueness. But the world is catching on.

Oh and if history is any help here, setting up "zones" wont do much good. Look at the results of Dejima!

Damn. You beat me to it.

-11 ( +16 / -27 )

If Japan wants investments from what they call GAIJIN then maybe the treatment of the internationals in a positive manner should be taken into account. Plus, dumping treated nuclear water into the ocean for the next 30 plus years is no indication of a country that is moving in the right direction. I mean, this is common sense.

-11 ( +11 / -22 )

Bakumatsu 2.0 with Chinese and other Asians. Kishida is definitely selling Japan for cheap prices, and all Asian elites will come and snap up all assets. Japanese labor is dirt cheap, and the best part is that you can literally underpay them to the level of slavery that they will never complain or fight back.

Cheap Japan is a paradise for foreign vultures and capital slavers!

-11 ( +11 / -22 )

Used to be a time when people wanted to rush into Japan, looking to make money, but came to the realization that it just isnt worth the trouble.

Very true

If Japan wants investments from what they call GAIJIN then maybe the treatment of the internationals in a positive manner should be taken into account. Plus, dumping treated nuclear water into the ocean for the next 30 plus years is no indication of a country that is moving in the right direction. I mean, this is common sense.

Well said Michael.

-12 ( +12 / -24 )

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