Kishida Seeks Economic Plan in Early November: Japan Election
(Bloomberg) -- Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida wants to draw up key economic proposals shortly after Sunday’s general election, including the contents of a stimulus plan worth tens of trillions of yen.
The plan could come as soon as early November, Kishida said Tuesday, and Economy Minister Daishiro Yamagiwa said helping those who have suffered an economic hit from the coronavirus would be top of the agenda. Kishida, who took office earlier this month, has been trying to win over voters with his pledges on building a “new capitalism,” in which the fruits of economic growth are spread more widely.
His long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner are expected to keep their parliamentary majority, a poll from Kyodo News showed Wednesday, but the scale of victory will be key. Losing too many seats could loosen Kishida’s grip over the party, which could dispatch him through the “revolving door” that claimed six premiers between 2007-2012.
The new prime minister is set to take his first overseas trip almost immediately after the election. He is likely to head to the U.K. for the COP26 climate talks, which could also provide his first chance as premier to meet U.S. President Joe Biden.
Four days to go to the Oct. 31 vote that determines if Kishida can keep enough seats to maintain the outright majority the LDP has held since 2012. When parliament was dissolved for the election, the LDP held 276 seats. If the party slips below the 233 simple majority in the 465-seat lower house, it’s expected to stay in power with the help of its junior coalition partner Komeito, which held 29 seats.
- Liberal Democratic Party, which has ruled the country for all but about four of the last 66 years
- Komeito, which has been in coalition with the LDP most of the time since 1999. Backed by a Buddhist group, it boasts a powerful machine to turn out the vote
- Constitutional Democratic Party, which holds about 75% of the opposition seats. It’s trying to build its numbers with pledges to raise the minimum wage and show it can be trusted to run the government again after its predecessor was sent packing in 2012 following a series of policy U-turns
Other opposition parties include the Japan Communist Party, which held 12 seats in the lower house, Ishin, a metro-based group with 11 seats and the Democratic Party of the People with 10. Independents held 10 seats and there were four vacancies.
Key stories and developments:
- Failure of Trickle-Down Abenomics Is Top Issue for Japan Voters
- Cash, Covid and China Weigh on Japan Parties Ahead of Election
- BOJ Seen Standing Pat Before Tough Vote for Ruling Party: Survey
- Japan’s Kishida Suffers By-Election Setback Before National Vote
- Japan’s Ruling Party on Course for Majority, Kyodo Poll Says
- Japan’s Election Unlikely to Bring More Representation for Women
- Kishida Defends Japan Sales Tax From Opponents’ Calls for Cut
- Japan’s Future at Stake in Oct. 31 Vote, Premier Kishida Says
- Japan Ruling Parties May Win Stable Majority, Kyodo Survey Shows
- Japan LDP Projected to Win Single-Party Majority: Asahi Survey
- Kyodo Poll Shows 29% Plan to Vote for LDP in Japan Election
A survey by Kyodo News conducted Oct. 23-26 found the LDP and coalition partner Komeito may secure a stable majority in the election, though the LDP is expected to lose seats. The main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party is struggling to secure any more seats than it held before parliament was dissolved, Kyodo said. The agency surveyed about 119,000 people by phone.
A separate poll published by NHK on Monday found 48% of respondents said they supported Kishida’s cabinet and 59% said they approved of the government’s handling of the coronavirus, as cases and deaths dwindle rapidly.
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