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PM hopefuls rally local support with focus on tourism, agriculture

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"If I become Prime Minister, I promise to do everything in my power to promote your prefecture's unique version of ramen so that it may finally command the global level respect it deserves!"

24 ( +28 / -4 )

If I become Prime Minister I promise to ensure that Japan becomes the first country in the world to be officially recognized as a "World Heritage Site!"

23 ( +27 / -4 )

So no change. Short sighted focus on the economy while no mention or consideration of the climate crisis.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

"We need to make agriculture a profitable business," Kishida said.

It's the same old hashed beef coming out of these politicians mouths.

So is Kishida suggesting Japan pull out of the TPP and other trade partnership agreements, which further expose Japan to global commodity markets and products produced with cheap labour and fewer environmental regulations? Or he'll get supermarkets to start competing on how high their prices can be and then pass these profits on to agricultural companies, and of course their workers? Maybe he wants to bring in tens of thousands of migrant farmers from Africa and put them on low-wage trainee contracts. Please, sir, explain.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Agreed @wip 7:20am just tried & true rhetoric for support from the rural & working class, voter base that keep these elite in their exalted, yet do nothing seats.

- [We need to make agriculture a profitable business,] “It's the same old hashed beef coming out of these politicians mouths.”

Would love some good hashed-beef for breaky about now but Japan doesn’t have that kind of thing.

Also wish they’d bring on and encourage other locally grown varieties like black ‘wild’ rice, brown rice, basmati, etc.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

We need to make agriculture a profitable business," Kishida said. Or face the fact agriculture practices are simply not advanced enough to be profitable. And the JAs monopoly is not doing anyone any favors.

no need massive government subsidies should keep it afloat and the LDP in power with the voter disparity.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

If agriculture gets subsidies why don’t the rest of us? Why the special privilege for them at the rest of us’ expense?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

We need to make agriculture a profitable business," Kishida said.

translation: vote for me! PLEASE!!!!

9 ( +10 / -1 )

There is a good show about government doling out special privilege (https://www.freetochoosenetwork.org/programs/corporate_welfare/)

In it the point is made that New Zealand abolished its agriculture subsidies in their 1980’s reforms. And as a result New Zealand agriculture has done better not worse.

Subsidies are not in anyone’s interests in the long run, except politicians.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Japan has set a goal of targeting 60 million foreign visitors to Japan in 2030 but the pandemic has depressed inbound tourism due to travel restriction. The number stood at 4.12 million in 2020.

Japan stop issued any new visa during pandemic, those who can manage to get into Japan already had visa before that.

he will upgrade the government's subsidy program to spur local tourism

More money will be spent for this one, with no clarity whether it will be sustain without subsidy.

"We need to make agriculture a profitable business,"

Profitable by employing people from trainee program that being underpaid, so it's not profitable anymore. Just making cost down using low paid labor.

the importance of tourism and agriculture, issues that are crucial to revitalize regional economies.

Those area only getting shrinking, with less people. Economies won't exist without any people who support that.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/08/22/national/media-national/old-story-rural-depopulation/

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Yawns! I do not support LDP members, I do not vote for LDP. I vote socialist not that it makes a difference.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

What the government needs to focus on is expanding their social welfare resources and services so we can stop reading about baby remains being found in refrigerators, women flushing their newborn down the toilet and a father trying to off his chronically ill son. Seriously, every day there's something about family violence on the news and it's really deeply concerning.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Japan had about 32 million foreign tourists visit Japan in 2018 and 2019 and only 4 million in 2020. Tens of billions of dollars were lost in revenue in Japan in 2020. Food for thought.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Village idiot could not run Japan into the ground,like the LDP,you have literate you have literate,educated AAA nd compliance citizens and Japan is not under a dictatorship

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan really needs to focus on its domestic issues before worying about tourism. 60% of the population are on short term work contracts with low salaries. The pension system is a complete failure. Child care is still a huge mess. Attention to tourism and agriculture are nothing more than glossy vote grubbing topics.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

No worries , tourists will be falling over themselves once they realize thanks to enlightened govt campaigns that the inaka is unique in having four seasons, aah.. and the beauty of the rural roads to nowhere & vistas of abandoned housing ruins, don't get me started , my eyes are misty with travel nostalgia already.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Only commonplace ideas.

No vision to change for the best.

Giving subsidies for votes is easy.

Managing a country is something else.

Like taking care of your family but at national level.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

No mention of climate change or improvements to workers pay and rights.

As usual more of the same old LDP .

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Agriculture doesn’t need to look to the world. Instead, the government should increase the food self- sufficiency rate. In the event of drastic climate change and global crop failures, the first priority of any country would be feeding its people and not exporting food to other countries.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

For a second I thought those were Uniqlo logos.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

therougou 10:04 am JST

For a second I thought those were Uniqlo logos.

Me too. Although Uniqlo's marketing is rarely as crude as this "Vote for me and I'll give you money...sorry, I'll subsidise your farm even more than now" nonsense from Kishida and Kono Taro/Taro Kono.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

If I become Prime Minister, I will bar any organisation from using the rainbow design. I want to bring back the belief that there is a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow. Instead of seeing at the end of every rainbow a group of equality activist dress in erotic leather attire.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

It's telling that the LDP panders to the countryside, which is its base (just like with most populist parties around the world). Even the so-called former minister

3 ( +3 / -0 )

...for gender equality don't mention any form of equality before the election, such as income equality or doing something about low-wage contract work.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japanese agriculture has potential but is so wrapped up in red tape and backward thinking that needs a serious redirection. The greenhouse industry in Japan has adopted modern farming but crop production is locked in the 1950's. Genetically engineered crops, autonomous equipment, big data and RNA pesticides are the future and unless Japan changes its laws it will just fall further behind. Kubuta has some promising autonomous equipment but the laws in Japan mean they will not be sold in Japan.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Are they doing these press conferences everyday?

Or is it just different pics from the same event?

Don’t these four have other work to do?

Do any of them even say anything interesting or innovative at all?

How many of these things are they gonna do?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Kono said Japan needs to promote inbound tourism that would have a "good influence" on regional economies, and that one challenge for the country is how to draw wealthy visitors.

Japan has set a goal of targeting 60 million foreign visitors to Japan in 2030 but the pandemic has depressed inbound tourism due to travel restriction. The number stood at 4.12 million in 2020.

Kishida said tourism has "big potential" for regional economies. If elected, he said he will upgrade the government's subsidy program to spur local tourism by making use of vaccine certificates or negative test results for COVID-19.

So, looking forward to continue to put most of our eggs in the same (tourism) basket, I guess? This while we are currently in the second year of what the tourism industry can only describe as an economic disaster...? Now, that's foresight.

Moreover, when looking at the below stat (covering 2017), half of the tourists came from the China-Taiwan-Hongkong region. With Hongkong toeing the line with mainland China and rows with Taiwan increasing, one can only expect more disturbances (hence: volatility) when it comes to nationals from these countries.

https://www.tourism.jp/en/tourism-database/stats/inbound/

Also, if China continues its silly saber-rattling, will tourists from other countries also start to think twice before coming to the region.

Also, where are the tourists going to is being answered by this stat (covering 2019):

https://www.hotelier.jp/inboundnews/other/todouhukenranking2020.html

The top 10 regions for tourists is basically a list of the "usual suspects" with (to me at least) the surprising exception and addition of Aichi and Fukuoka (I'm happy for them though).

Even with tourists travelling across the country do the top 10 regions rake in 59,760,000 tourists out of 69,910,000 of the top 20 which is 85.48%. This explains why regions like Kyoto were basically wall-to-wall tourists choking themselves and the locals back in 2019.

2019 had 31.9 Mio tourists with the top 10 is either already in a situation of over-tourism or getting close to it. If you want to double the figure you have to find a way to spread the visitors across the country, if not the system will collapse (e.g. tourists will end up having a bad experience and will neither promote Japan when going back home nor come back again).

The talk to double the figure over the next 9 years is neither realistic nor, in the current situation, even desirable.

For once, Japan will compete with other nations where tourism is big business and which will heavily promote their countryside. Another issue being that it will take several years for global tourism to get back to pre-Covid figures.

In a nutshell, it will take time to rebuilt the whole industry and not only in Japan. That time ought to be used for concrete and realistic planning, pinpoint and sensible investments and an overall clear vision of what needs to and can be achieved.

What the candidates utter are just wishy-washy promises (involving a bonfire of taxpayers' money down the lane) vowing to continue already failing policies leading to nowhere.

Tourism and agriculture, pretty much like every other industrial sector in Japan needs a re-think and change.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Both Kono and Noda said the country needs to nurture and support people engaged in farming.

"We need to make agriculture a profitable business," Kishida said.

What you need to do foster competition years of protectionism and massive subsidy hasn't led to an increase in food self sufficiency or reduction in prices, prices have increased uncontrollable food is completely out of reach of the general population. Recently, poor quality Hokkaido pumpkin is the only pumpkin you see in supermarkets, pumpkins from mexico and miconesia magically vanished overnight from supermarket shelves, well that is making agriculture a profitable for a select few at the expense of the vast majority

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Kyoto is going bankrupt without the ¥1 trillion it earns from tourism.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Both Kono and Noda said the country needs to nurture and support people engaged in farming.

"We need to make agriculture a profitable business," Kishida said.

Right enough, but what the LDP doesn't need are self-sufficient farmers running profitable farms who don't feel obligated to local politicians for continual cash hand-outs. Therefore agriculture will continue to be kept on taxpayer-funded life support.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Addition: with the ongoing pandemic did a lot of people in and around the tourism industry loose their businesses and jobs. They had to move on in order to survive. Once the situation will have stabilized, will these people be looking forward to go back to what they now know is a high-risk industry in case of any similar problem? Me not think so.

The industry will therefore first need to re-hire the lost staff in order to go back to pre-pandemic levels and then hire even more to reach that ridiculous doubling of the figures the government is aiming for.

Let's be realistic, please.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Thats why Japan is laghing behind! This boring debate will take place every year when the time to right to get a new PM! Every PM can seat im office for 12 months more or less!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Agriculture? One of the hardest sector to get in (startup wise).

7 ( +7 / -0 )

These idiots want to exploit tourism and make it a variable industry. First problem. Japan have a very small percent of workers that can actually converse in English. Once English is taught to the same standard of Math and Science in Japan education system tourism will increase. Until then the returning visitors will be very limited.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I have enjoyed while traveling throughout Europe and in many places in the US and Canada visiting and shopping at the local food/farmers fairs and markets.

If these fairs and markets can succeed in a big city like Paris or a small town like St. Malo, why can't places where small and hobby farmers plus local craftspeople sell produce and goods succeed in Osaka, Ashiya, Hyogo and other places here.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The master of show on the left.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Also, where are the tourists going to is being answered by this stat (covering 2019):

https://www.hotelier.jp/inboundnews/other/todouhukenranking2020.html

That's a great link with lots of illuminating data. On a micro level, you have Gifu with more visitors than Nagano, but Nagano getting nearly double the revenue. Why? Because Nagano gets skiers and snowboarders, who are high spenders, and year-round big spenders shopping in Karuizawa. For Gifu, you have to wonder how many of the 900,000 visitors spent any meaningful amount of time in somewhere that is not Shirakawa-go, Takayama, or Magome. Vast swathes of Gifu (and Nagano) will get hardly any visitors. Take a more remote prefecture like Yamaguchi or Aomori and even their star attractions will get few people. The biggest moneyspinner for tourism there may be government grants for tourist promotional activities, not revenue from people who actually come.

The lowest prefectures have an inbound tourist spend of under 45 million USD. That's equivalent to the local government budget of a town of about 9000 people, spread across prefectures with hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kono, exhibiting his unworthiness to be PM exhorts 'tourism' as a mainstay of the economy. Deeming that an influx of wealthy tourists needs to be cultivated - this a reference which should be annotated as 'rich Chinese'. Among other elements is, The Big Plan, to construct casino resorts as part & parcel of that inanity.

Members of that coalition have proposed such absurdities as running a monorail thru Nara Park to the top of Mount Wakayama, ignoring the impact, which is obvious and completely negative - and more so displaying bankrupt imaginations. Failing that what came to be, a resort hotel within the park, a members only entity, opposed by many & supported by none and in violation of laws and standards which were overridden by the governor, another aged politician who is/was a lapdog for Abe. A hotel that costs up to $3,000 (300,000 yen) a night and will do little to nothing for the regional or local economy, as the owners of said are a large conglomerate and all the money leaves town.

Besides creating an economic dependency on China, with a peculiar version of outsourcing tourism to a targeted segment of a particular socio-economic status in one country - is to cultivate a resource that is not only short-sighted, but doomed to failure. It completely ignores domestic tourism, trading such a sustainable model for an industrial version which has myriad adverse impacts.

Kono, and others of his ilk determine to create an infrastructure that is not wedded to the local or the regional, as it is one and the same. Once again, taking Nara as an example, within the past year, five hotels have been built or are in the final phases of construction - such have displaced structures of architectural significance and plopped high rises in the downtown area adjacent to Naramachi, an area with traditional architecture and flourishing small independent shops, encroaching on what is an 'attraction' and more so a viable residential neighborhood which is fast disappearing under the auspices of industrial tourism. This the actuality of Kono's intent.

The narrow confines of the minds, who aspire to be Prime Minister, lack not just imagination, but a genuine 'vision' for the future - the candidates are hackneyed politicos from a party that has a chokehold on power and are incapable of even conceptualizing a viable and realistic future. This is apparent in examining any and all of their policies and history within the legislature - the future they determined to create is the here & now and which they worked for during the expanse of their lives - these are aged & aging politicians, at best offering a charade - but more so, more of the same. The current malaise is of and by their hand. A two year long contagion - which they helped create and had absolutely no planned or purposeful response. Naught done to offset the economic damage. Now they offer a return to 'normalcy' which reflects the failed policies of the past twenty years. For which all of them to various degrees are responsible.

None of the above, should be on the ballot.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The LDP uses the subsidies to cement their base, strengthening hereditary landholders instead of a UBI to the pandemic stricken working populace , most of whom have no capital holding at all. The strategy couldn't be clearer.

Kishida said tourism has "big potential" for regional economies. If elected, he said he will upgrade the government's subsidy program to spur local tourism by making use of vaccine certificates or negative test results for COVID-19.

Tourism is a dead end business. First, you have the mass layoffs that came because of the pandemic and its precarious nature. And it creates low wage service jobs that enrich the property holders mainly. Places like Hawaii suffer massive brain drain of youth after university to the Mainland in search of jobs. Who wants to stick around someplace where the highest aspiration would be to front desk manager, no matter how beautiful or picturesque it is?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

For a second I thought those were Uniqlo logos.

Ha ha ha! Me too, when I just quickly glanced at the photo.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Certainly no one is going to come here until quarantine is abolished. Certainly hope Kono understands that and gets rid of it ASAP.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yeah, sure tourism and agriculture.

Tourism where tourists pay the double or even more for a hotel stay compared with other countries.

Not even mentioning the flight cost and everything else that is connected to their stay.

Agriculture, sure, so those farmers who have supported you for decades feel good and vote for you.

The price for rice and other agricultural products is so high compared with other countries.

But of course, you will get it the way you want it ... your way!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Time to let a competent woman be PM and make a difference. Sanae-san is good.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

My choice is for those two hopefuls in the middle TV screen. I’m sure they can do a better job than those jokers on the podiums.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Edano is speaking out loud to make zero income tax for all households which annual revenue is less than 1000 million yen. I am more interested in how CDPJ would enforce the party's campaign promise.

Do you agree or do you want mods to delete me?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Of course I meant 10 million yen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If they want to stimulate regional tourism, they need to bin the Minpaku law that strangled local initiatives at birth. It takes more than a fluffy mascot to attract people to less known places. Minpaku would have been a great way to outsource the promotion to actual residents who know their local area well and are on hand to tell visitors all about these things. But that was far too frightening for bureaucrats afraid of nothing so much as people being entrepreneurial. While it would need to be strictly controlled in places like Kyoto, Minpaku in less well known regions really had the potential to change the face of the tourist industry here. No doubt that's why it had to be killed off. I think they've missed the boat now, and other places will step in and do what Japan was unable to, as countries come out of the pandemic over the next few years.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

With all the outside party questions this is looking like a one party state election not what should just be a leadership convention.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

dagon Sep. 26 02:43 pm JST

> Tourism is a dead end business. First, you have the mass layoffs that came because of the pandemic and its precarious nature. And it creates low wage service jobs that enrich the property holders mainly. Places like Hawaii suffer massive brain drain of youth after university to the Mainland in search of jobs. Who wants to stick around someplace where the highest aspiration would be to front desk manager, no matter how beautiful or picturesque it is?

Very true. If Japan is to revive tourism to any extent, there has to be more than service industry jobs. Okinawa had a really good tourism industry, albeit funded mostly by Chinese and Korean tourists. Okinawa, being a lot more English friendly, adapted and had English/Korean/Chinese menus at restaurants, and tried putting English speaking workers at more locations. And they started letting cruise ships into Naha port. These are big tourist dollars.

Now? Tourism there is near zero, And plenty of layoffs. And you speak of pay disparity. Was in Hawaii last week. If you are bilingual Japanese you can get a job but the pay is horrible. $40K / year. Can't even room share and live on Oahu on that. Imagine trying to live on that in Japan where milk is $4 / quart?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yawns! I do not support LDP members, I do not vote for LDP. I vote socialist not that it makes a difference.

I never knew Japan had absentee balloting. Otherwise how do you vote from Oklahoma?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

. Okinawa had a really good tourism industry, albeit funded mostly by Chinese and Korean tourists.

On this you are wrong. Pre Covid there were close to 12,000,000 tourists in Okinawa, and out of that number 4,000,000 or so were foreigners.

Most of it, the tourism industry is funded by JAPANESE. Koreans and Taiwanese made up the bulk of the foreign tourist trade.

With or without the Chinese, makes no big difference in Okinawa.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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