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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 September 9 - 15  > Prime candidate for LDP president will continue with unsuccessful 'Abenomics'
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2020 September 9 - 15 [POLITICS]

Prime candidate for LDP president will continue with unsuccessful 'Abenomics'

September 12, 2020
Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide, the leading candidate for the Liberal Democratic Party presidency, keeps saying that he will continue with the Abe government's "Abenomics" economic policy. However, Abenomics has already failed. What is needed is a radical policy change.

After Prime Minister Abe Shinzo returned to power in December 2012, the Abe administration together with the Bank of Japan set a 2%-inflation target as one of Abe's "three arrows" economic strategy and enforced the easy-money policy. The government at first sought to reach the target in two years, but failed. It no longer has any goals after repeatedly extending the deadline for the target achievement.

In 2015, PM Abe released his new "three arrows" strategy with the aim of attaining "zero children waiting to enter daycare facilities", "zero workers quitting jobs for caring for their elderly parents", and "a birthrate of 1.8 children per woman".

The Abe government in 2013 announced the "zero-waiting list for childcare centers" to be achieved by the end of fiscal 2017. The number of children on waiting lists in April 2017, however, was 26,000, exceeding that of April 2013. Even as of April 2020, the number topped 12,000.

According to the Labor Ministry, 99,000 workers left their jobs between October 2016 and October 2017 because of having to care for aging family members. This number has remained roughly the same since 2012 at 101,000. The ratio of these workers to total job leavers is actually increasing. About 80% of those workers are women while the Abe government advocates "women's participation in society". Cutbacks in public nursing-care services made by the Abe government have been restraining the use of the services and imposing more burdens on family caregivers. Cabinet Office Data show that the percentage of "nursing-care service companies" out of "main caretakers" fell to 12.1% in 2019 from 14.8% in 2013.

Japan's birthrate has been on the decrease for four consecutive years since 2016, down to 1.36 in 2019 from 1.41 in 2012. The number of births in 2019 was 860,000, falling below 900,000 for the first time.

In contrast to major developed countries where women workers account for more than 30% of managerial positions, women in Japan held only 14.8% of managerial posts and as low as about 5% of executive positions in listed companies.
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