Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, top, applauds with other lawmakers during an extraordinary session in the lower house of the Diet in Tokyo on Monday. Photo: AP/Koji Sasahara
politics

Kishida to seek economic growth before redistributing wealth

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Nothing changes. Nothing will change.

27 ( +34 / -7 )

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Monday he will prioritize achieving economic growth to make good on his pledge to redistribute wealth.

"Unless there is growth there is nothing to distribute.” Kishida said.

Kishida appears to have shifted from redistribution to distribution.

23 ( +23 / -0 )

Nothing about allowing vaccinated tourists. There's no way Japan will recover without tourism. Someone should give that guy's head a whack.

5 ( +14 / -9 )

He seems to be backing down from what he said before and trying to save some face.

21 ( +21 / -0 )

There is no trade off over equality and growth. Japan's growth is around 60% - 70% driven by consumption, so putting more spending money in the pockets of people who spend most of their earnings will drive the economy higher, as opposed to people who keep the bulk of their wealth locked up in Panama or the Cayman Islands.

21 ( +23 / -2 )

Well after the bubble burst in the 80s that’s kind of been the mantra. So 40 years of LDP trying to get the economy growing? their biggest success ( if you can call it that) is fending off recession. And before that can happen their biggest focus is convincing the public that a constitution review back to the 30s that is their first aim.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

"Unless there is growth there is nothing to distribute."

What about all that money stored up in tax havens by the 1,000+ Japanese companies named in the Pandora papers just a week ago?

22 ( +23 / -1 )

Change will not happen easy after 30 years of stagnation since the Plaza Accord was signed.

Japan's economy should be 3x bigger. We're still at the same level of GDP like back in the 90s.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Classic campaign backflip! He promised salary increases in his campaign jargon. Now, he says he’ll create economic growth before addressing salaries. It could take years to get economic growth out of an economy that has been declining for over two decades. He’s full of poop, just like the other 25 PMs in the last twenty years.

22 ( +22 / -0 )

""Unless there is growth there is nothing to distribute," says Kishida. And I say this is nonsense. Japan is a rich country and there is plenty to "redistribute" without "growth." What Kishida is in fact up to is keeping the status quo, whereby the rich keep getting richer and the working class gets little in terms of wages and benefits.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Ahead of a House of Representatives election at the end of October, Kishida underscored he will not immediately seek to raise the tax rate on capital gains and dividends. He toned downed his earlier remarks that changing the flat rate of 20 percent would be an option, which led to sharp falls in Tokyo stocks.

Edano in his response should have shown the graph of corporate earnings versus wages for the last 30 years. Then a copy of the Panama and Pandora Papers. Case closed, drop the mic.

In the US, Biden has forgotten promises related to releif of student debt and additional stimulus payments, but I have never seen someone back away from progressive promises faster than Kishida.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Par for the course. Next....

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Asked by Edano about his assessment of "Abenomics," an economy-boosting program, Kishida said, "It has helped get the country out of the economic peril under the Democratic Party of Japan-led government and increased jobs. It played a big role in growing the economy." Edano was a member of the DPJ at the time.

Really Mr. Kishidan*(sp)? Your party has been in power for more than 60 years, only for a short three year blip when the DPJ was in control, and you are going to blame all the economic struggles on that short period! What a joke. Never have a seen a leader back peddle this fast in all my time here in Japan. And the depressing thing is, many people will just keep voting for these crooks and liars!

13 ( +14 / -1 )

he has suggested steering away from "neoliberal" economic policies.

"economic growth before redistributing wealth" sounds like trickle down to me

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Nothing changes. Nothing will change.

exactly.

He seems to be backing down from what he said before and trying to save some face.

exactly. And finally the best quote so far...

Really Mr. Kishidan*(sp)? Your party has been in power for more than 60 years, only for a short three year blip when the DPJ was in control, and you are going to blame all the economic struggles on that short period! What a joke. Never have a seen a leader back peddle this fast in all my time here in Japan. And the depressing thing is, many people will just keep voting for these crooks and liars!

excellent one Mark!

Look, if the people here continue to vote for these clowns then they get what they deserve. You make your bed and now sleep in it. I would like to think the people here to a certain extent have woken up and decided to elect someone else. But I'm not so optimistic.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Here we go again, promises, promises, promises, by the time he is ready to do anything he will be ousted.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Looking at that pictures reminds me of other countries in the close vicinity of Japan!

Applaud the leader for whatever he says! I mean, his remarks are so great (NOT).

He will protect his allies, party- and business-wise.

Don't want to tick off those who provide you (the ruling ones) with the necessary funds.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

At its core, GDP measured growth is based on every more humans using ever more energy (to produce and destroy material from nature. Most services relay heavily on materials and human activity that requires energy. So in the case of Japan, with a rapidly shrinking population (which is good for ecological sustainability goals), economic growth is impossible, unless the country is flooded with tourists and immigrants.

The new focus must be on quality of life (beyond material consumption) and sharing (Yes! real redistribution). Of course Kishida lacks the mentality or leadership ability to shift Japan in the direction it needs to go.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Sorry. Typos from previous post.

*ever more humans

*rely heavily on

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Japanese companies moved their factories and offices overseas where land and labor cheaper and taxes lower. Also, they moved their businesses overseas to get around higher yen. The trend will continue under the globalized economy. How can we boost domestic economy under such a condition while the government must spend a lot for the welfare of aging population and debts of the nation swelling?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The magic word Economy is once again the rallying cry for the nation. Expect him to do nothing at all except keep the major players happy and the sheeple will just follow on thankful the economy is doing something and they still have an 80 hour a week job

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Kishida backtracking furiously, his "new capitalism" lasted about three days.

Kiyomi Tsujimoto from the CDP was mocking him in the Diet yesterday, "give us the election and we'll help you clean the pus out of your party," she said. Even some LDP old boys were laughing. Ten days in the job and Kishida is toast already.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

He will make good on his pledge to redistribute wealth and swiftly decide on economic stimulus.

Soon to present an outline of his coronovirus response plan.

Goodness gracious kishida you should have had plenty of time to get your plans in order by now .

Stop fooling around and get something done to benefit the population and economy of Japan.

Get your priorities in the right order.

So far iam not impressed with kishida.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

80 hours? 80 ? What kind of lazy people do you know? I remember working 160hrs a week and I was thankful!

I slept in paper bag in under the toilet for 10 min, those were the days. I miss the old LDP.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Redistribute as in taxing the poor and giving tax breaks to the rich. He's not the first is he?

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Unless there is growth there is nothing to distribute

Kishida looked suitably embarrassed when he read out this rubbish. Want to redistribute income? Try this:

-minimum wage 1500 yen

-top income tax rate 60%

-capital gains half of income tax rate

-basic personal exemption 10 million yen

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Saw on the news last night the average annual wage for workers in Japan is second to last amongst developed economies just above Italy and about 60% of the US figure. I wonder if all that debt is the reason.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Let me translate it for you.

No growth no distribution.

Growth = higher taxes.

Get ready for taxation.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Japan's economy should be 3x bigger. We're still at the same level of GDP like back in the 90s.

Japan has undeniably underachieved, productivity per hour worked is terrible, but 1990s Japan was coming off a "bubble", not a "boom". They call them bubbles because they have nothing inside them. 1980s Japan descended into simply hyping up asset prices.

Compared to 1990, Japan also now has 14 million fewer workers (aged 15-64) and 7 million fewer children driving consumption. Factor that in and Japan's performance has just been "meh", not uniquely terrible.

Getting back to Kishida, but this sounds like an indirect way of saying he's not going to hand out money before the election. You would normally expect the handouts or the prospects of them to be a vote winner.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

3rd biggest economy (so I’m told) but living standards for the population not even top ten. Something is wrong.

ahhh nepotism and corruption, I get it now.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

many people will just keep voting for these crooks and liars!

This household’s votes will be going to the Isshin party - the only party promising reforms rather than visits from Santa and the tooth fairy.

Whether you choose the LDP or the leftist opposition parties, they all want to spend tens of trillions of yen and the difference is hard to spot.

Toru Hashimoto was debating Kishida on Sunday morning TV and it was really sad to see how hapless Kishida was to answer, and Hashimoto knows what needs to be done - for example, ripping up the current two tier labour system of seishain and contract workers to have a level playing field - but none of the politicians have the guts to do that because they are worried the seishain would revolt.

Gutless politicians, not just here, but everywhere…

4 ( +7 / -3 )

One of the more farcical touchs at yesterday's diet Q&A was when LDP bigwig Amari read out his question (why does he get a turn?) and Kishida read out the response Amari's staff had already kindly prepared.

Either Monty Python or the CPP. Or both.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

And there you have it, folks! His promise to give back to the people… dead. His seeking “economic growth” first will result in even less as consumers have less to spend and prices and taxes (except on companies) go up.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Japan's new PM weakened his policy with being scared at large corporations or share holders.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

"....Asked by Edano about his assessment of "Abenomics," an economy-boosting program, Kishida said, "It has helped get the country out of the economic peril under the Democratic Party of Japan-led government..."

Ah....so Japan's economic woes are down to the 3 years that the DPJ was the government and nothing to do with the previous 50-odd years that the LDP were in charge....riiiiight 

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Taken to the woodshed by his betters - essentially those who yank his chain - he has once again seen the light. Beholden to those who actually put him in power, he vows publicly to serve those interests.

Abenomics, the dada-esque version of Reaganomics, was a charade that failed - once again being invoked in a more anemic version, call it Kishidanomics, an increase in profits by large entities will allow more spending by 'the little people' aka consumers as if magic will enhance the economy. Somehow in the future that will diminish inequality.

Quantitative easing another magic potion that permits massive borrowing by those already flush with cash - allows building such as hotels and apartments that are simply boons to contractors and large corporate entities - think the government policy to bring 60 million foreign tourists to the benefit of APA, FUFU, Marriott, Hotel 168, H.I.S. Hotel Holdings to name a few examples (in Nara, all new hotels) - all adversely effect local economies. In house restaurants, bakeries and coffee shops impact local, independent establishments - the so called tourist dollars flow directly into the non-local and out of the city & region to corporate headquarters in Tokyo or further away. Besides being a blight architecturally and often built on the site of a structure that contained elements of traditional architecture.

As for apartments, built by companies often functioning as shell companies for foreign corporation aka Chinese and then 'managed' by not local real estate agencies but large corporate companies that once again take the cash and run. Once again, architectural blight follows.

Toss in a mall or two. And you have a future that is denuded of local culture and is the wreck and ruin of what is elementally Japan. Base economic growth on foreign tourism, which means an influx of Chinese from Cherry Blossom time to the changing of leaves in autumn and you have a model doomed to failure. And beholden to a foreign government that uses its economic power to enforce policy upon a dependent state. The most obvious example South Korea - 2016, China banned tour agencies from selling packages to S. Korea as China did not approve of S. Korean foreign policy - tourism was immediately reduced by almost 30%.

That is the future charted by Kishida and his henchmen. He is a fiscal conservative, dubbed a hawk, which intends a service to large corporate financial entities and fiscal policies that profit not, the people.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Has he even made a comment on food, fuel, electricity, gas rises?

nahhhhh that is for the workers to fix case by case. But big business they really suffer under tax breaks and hand outs. They just don’t have enough to pay first wold wages.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Has he even made a comment on food, fuel, electricity, gas rises?

nahhhhh that is for the workers to fix case by case. But big business they really suffer under tax breaks and hand outs. They just don’t have enough to pay first wold wages.

But if the financial markets and banks suffer a dramatic downturn see how fast the LDP gov will swoop in with a taxpayer funded bailout. meanwhile the public endures 30 years of stagnant wages which finally gets commented on now, and just as quickly swept under the rug.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sheikh YerboabyToday  10:43 am JST

Ah....so Japan's economic woes are down to the 3 years that the DPJ was the government and nothing to do with the previous 50-odd years that the LDP were in charge....riiiiight 

There's not much the LDP and its lackeys won't blame on that DPJ administration if they think they can get away with it.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Although it surely hurts, also personally, but he is right on this one, it only can something be distributed if there is beforehand more substantial growth, more children, their better education, more research on new products and services and all those sold on the global market.

But now comes the new obvious obstacle, that growth and all those more efforts massively collide with those new environmental, anti global warming, climate change avoidance goals. So we can of course only have one side of that wish coin! Considering that new contradicting goal settings, there surely isn’t such a thing like plenty of delicious manna falling from heaven for everyone with ease to pick up immediately or later. Say good bye to climate improvements or say good bye to economy rebuilding and growth in income. Neither we all nor PM Kishida’s government are magicians who can walk two different paths at the same time.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I feel sorry for the people of Japan as their inward looking politicians lack any real ability to better the lives of the people they represent.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

So any word on what he is going to do different from the past 20 or so PMs to bring about this mystical 'economic growth'?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I feel sorry for the people of Japan as their inward looking politicians lack any real ability to better the lives of the people they represent.

You could swap 'Japan' for every capitalist country, especially in those in Europe or North America.

Capitalism is the disease. As long as we allow the richest 1% to pretend to treat symptoms of the disease rather than we treat the disease, from a socioeconomic perspective, things will continue to get worse. Things can't but continue to get worse. A mathematical certainty.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I feel sorry for the people of Japan as their inward looking politicians lack any real ability to better the lives of the people they represent.

LDP could find and execute policies to " better the lives of the people" but bettering the lives of the rich and powerful J-Inc, politicians and bureaucrats is more important. As long as the people keep voting them in as until now, LDP has no incentive to change...frustrating indeed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan needs politicians that knows what must be done. Not politicians that just don't know what to do and do as they imagine.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

well, what could we expect…. I would say I’m rather well off and would absolutely pay more taxes because many people need help but if the 1% rule Kishida will just have to dance like most of his predecessors did. Sad sad, nothing will ever change except we force them to!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ Rob

While generally I would agree, there are exceptions.

There are tax free or very low tax jurisdictions out there and even the UK doesn’t levy tax on food.

Japan is an outlier…

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think perhaps he meant to say "virtueitus" and not - "virtuous"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I believe this is a temporal causality loop. How long Japan has been there is anyone's guess

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Nothing will change as long as LDP is in power… Kashida was all big talk before being elected as the PM and now he is becoming another Suga!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hi. Trevor Peace

As I wrote previously. Japan will be the latest country on earth to reopen its borders

0 ( +0 / -0 )

gintonicOct. 12  12:25 pm JST

As long as the people keep voting them in as until now, LDP has no incentive to change...frustrating indeed.

What's really frustrating is that most Japanese actually don't vote for the LDP.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“Unless there is growth there is nothing to distribute.”

Or…unless the rich get richer how can the poor get poorer???

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes yes, unless Looters take first dibs, there's always, a catch.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The LDP can't change its capitalist spots while all the Japanese do is vote for them again and again just waiting for Godot.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What a joke??!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Fear not plebs!! We just need to make more money ourselves before the re-distribution begins!! Eat your cup noodles, and cram onto your lovely efficient mass transport, beaver away in your menial, low paid jobs....for re-distribution is JUST around the corner!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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