Japan's new PM ready to tackle challenges

Tuesday, 2021-10-05 15:43:21
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Japanese PM Kishida Fumio at a press conference on October 4. (Photo: Reuters)
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NDO - Kishida Fumio got to work as Japan's 100th prime minister on Tuesday (October 5), a day after taking office and forming a cabinet.

“I would like to speedily respond to various challenges,” Kishida told reporters at the prime minister's office after holding a teleconference with US President Joe Biden.

According to Kyodo news, Kishida, meanwhile, will be looking to guide the Liberal Democratic Party-led coalition to victory in a general election that is set to take place on October 31.

This is forecast to be a difficult election for the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) as the four opposition parties, including the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ), the Japanese Communist Party (JCP), the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the Reiwa Shinsengumi party, have joined forces to find a way to overcome the ruling party. The LDP holds 275 of the 465 seats in the House of Representatives of the Parliament.

In the medium term, Kishida needs to solve a series of challenges such as population aging, strengthening the social security system, and promoting economic growth.

To revive the domestic economy, Kishida has vowed to implement a “new capitalism” that focuses on boosting economic growth and redistributing the fruits of that success to increase middle-class incomes.

An economic package worth tens of trillions of yen is in the works to support people and businesses reeling from the pandemic, he has said.

Regarding diplomacy, during a phone call with President Joe Biden that lasted about 20 minutes, the leaders of Japan and the United States made an important cooperation commitment.

They agreed to work together towards strengthening the Japan-US alliance and free and open Indo-Pacific region.

Kishida is set to deliver a policy speech and answer questions from party leaders in the coming days before heading into the general election.

Earlier, at a press conference Monday, Kishida announced he will dissolve the House of Representatives, the powerful lower chamber of parliament, on October 14, with the campaigning period to start on October 19.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Kishida Fumio announced the cabinet featuring many new faces, with 13 out of 20 members taking on the position of Minister for the first time. Kishida retained two positions from the cabinet of his predecessor, Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu and Defence Minister Kishi Nobuo.

Kyodo, Reuters