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Japan dissolved its House of Representatives on Thursday, paving the way for parliamentary elections at the end of the month. The new prime minister, Fumio Kishida, is popular and the opposition appears to be largely left behind in opinion polls.
Japan is heading for early parliamentary elections at the end of the month after the dissolution on Thursday October 14 of the House of Representatives, in which the Liberal Democratic Party (PLD) is expected to retain a majority under the leadership of its new leader and new Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida.
The election campaign is expected to focus primarily on economic issues, and one of the new head of government’s advisers on these issues, Kozo Yamamoto, has advocated a plan of at least 32,000 or 33,000 billion yen (243-250 billion yen). euros) to support the recovery after the shock caused by the Covid-19 crisis.
Eleven days after coming to power, Fumio Kishida is relatively popular and should allow the PLD and its government ally, the Komeito, to easily maintain their parliamentary majority in the face of weakened opposition.
“I want to use these elections to explain to people what we are trying to do and what our goals are,” he told reporters.
Referring to the past 11 days, the new Prime Minister added: “I have had a very busy schedule but strangely, I don’t feel tired, I feel fulfilled.”
For voters, the priorities for the future government must be to act decisively to end the Covid-19 epidemic and revive the economy, polls show.
Fumio Kishida in the lineage of “Abenomics”
Fumio Kishida advocates a “new capitalism” focused on growth and the redistribution of wealth. It intends to be in line with the “Abenomics”, a massive plan to support the Japanese economy based on three pillars: budgetary, monetary and structural reforms.
One of the architects of this policy put in place in 2013 by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Kozo Yamamoto, believes that a massive new spending plan is needed to close the growth gap in the Japanese economy due to the Covid-19 pandemic and achieve the objective of 2% inflation.
“What is important above all is to achieve solid economic growth with the three arrows of Abenomics. It is only then that we can talk about redistribution,” said Kozo Yamamoto, according to which such a stimulus plan must be financed by a massive issuance of long-term Treasury loans.
The opposition left behind in the polls
The PLD also advocates a sharp increase in military spending, in particular to acquire ballistic missile destruction capabilities, against a backdrop of regional tensions fueled by China’s ambitions, particularly with regard to Taiwan.
The main opposition party, the Constitutional Democratic Party (PDC), led by Yukio Edano, is focusing on issues such as support for same-sex marriage and the possibility for married couples to have different names.
The PLD, for its part, remains conservative on social issues and Fumio Kishida has declared that he is not in favor of same-sex marriage.
A recent poll published by the newspaper Asahi Shimbun credits the PLD with 47% of the voting intentions against only 13% for the PDC, the other parties being even further behind.