Breaking News
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your experience. Save up to 40% More details

Japan PM contender Kishida targets income disparity; rival Takaichi launches bid

WorldSep 08, 2021 06:31AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Japan's Internal Affairs Minister Sanae Takaichi attends a news conference at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's official residence in Tokyo, Japan September 11, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo 2/2

By Tetsushi Kajimoto, Daniel Leussink and Kiyoshi Takenaka

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan should strive for a new form of capitalism to reduce income disparity that has worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic, Fumio Kishida, who hopes to become the next prime minister, said on Wednesday.

Kishida, a former foreign minister, presented his economic policies as part of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leadership race, which started last week after Yoshihide Suga said he would step down. The winner is assured of becoming Japan's next premier.

Former internal minister Sanae Takaichi joined Kishida in the contest, unveiling a conservative platform, while popular coronavirus vaccination minister Taro Kono met party heavyweights as he weighs his chances.

If Takaichi, 60, manages to overcome long odds, she would become Japan's first female leader.

Kishida said deregulation during the reform era in the early 2000s widened the gap between the haves and have-nots and that former prime minister Shinzo Abe's "Abenomics", which sought to fix tattered finances by achieving high growth and boosting tax revenues, did not result in benefits trickling down.

"Without distribution of wealth there won't be a rise in consumption and demand...there won't be further growth if distribution of wealth is lost," Kishida said at a Tokyo presentation on Wednesday.

"There's no doubt Abenomics has brought a major achievement on growth but in terms of distribution of wealth, trickle-down has not yet happened."

Kishida repeated a call for an economic stimulus package and reiterated his support for the Bank of Japan's 2% inflation target as "a global standard".

Kishida also called for setting up a 10 trillion yen ($90 billion) university fund to stimulate science and promotion of renewable energy, while retaining nuclear power technology, which he said should be considered as a clean energy option.


Takaichi launched her challenge on policies to strengthen security and help boost the COVID-battered economy.

She became the first female internal affairs minister in the second Abe administration in 2014, and local media said he supported her bid, helping her obtain the 20 lawmaker backers she will need to formally enter the contest.

But Takaichi has ranked poorly in popularity ratings, which could hamper her chances.

Whoever wins the Sept. 29 vote of grass-roots LDP members and party lawmakers will lead the party in the lower house election that must be held by Nov. 28, making public appeal an important factor in choosing Suga's successor.

A member of the party's most conservative wing, Takaichi on Wednesday defended her frequent visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, a memorial to Japan's war dead. Such visits by Japanese leaders infuriate old wartime foes such as China and South Korea.

"I do this as a Japanese citizen to express my respect and thanks," said Takaichi. "It's my freedom of religion to do so."

She distanced herself from statements issued by Japan in the past apologising for its wartime aggression, instead highlighting the one proclaimed by the Abe government.

"It said our children's and grandchildren's generations should not have to keep apologising," said Takaichi.

She condemned China's abuses of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang and Tibet and said Japan should protect members of such groups residing in Japan who are facing threats.

Takaichi also called for legislation to prevent leaks of advanced technologies out of Japan, and said she would shelve the goal of hitting a primary budget balance until the Bank of Japan's 2% inflation target was met.

"Sanaenomics has three pillars of bold monetary easing, fiscal spending and crisis-control investment," Takaichi said. "We'll mobilise all of them to achieve the 2% inflation target."

Japan PM contender Kishida targets income disparity; rival Takaichi launches bid

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email