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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 October 6 - 12  > PM Kishida in his first policy speech expresses his determination to go further with Abe/Suga policy line
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2021 October 6 - 12 [POLITICS]

PM Kishida in his first policy speech expresses his determination to go further with Abe/Suga policy line

October 9, 2021

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

Prime Minister Kishida Fumio in his first policy speech, which he gave on October 8 before both Houses, stressed that he will open a “new era”, but avoided discussing issues that caused public distrust of the Abe/Suga administrations. Stating that he will pursue a “new capitalism”, what he revealed in the speech was his stance to continue with the anti-people Abe/Suga policies. A change of government is vital to realize people-oriented politics.

In defiance of the public call to uncover the truth behind a series of political scandals, PM Kishida in his policy speech said nothing about the money-for-politics issues that occurred under the Abe/Suga governments such as the “Moritomo” favoritism scandal, the cherry blossom-viewing party scandal, and the bribery scandal involving Liberal Democratic Party Secretary-General Amari Akira. Kishida also remained silent about ex-PM Suga’s intervention in the personnel affairs of the Science Council of Japan, which trampled on academic freedom.

Regarding COVID-19 countermeasures, without showing any remorse over the LDP/Komei government’s mishandling of the pandemic which caused an explosive surge in cases, PM Kishida claimed that he will implement measures aimed at drastically strengthening the medical system, expanding PCR testing capacity, and improving support for people’s livelihoods. However, he provided no concreate explanation regarding these measures.

PM Kishida boasted that he will introduce a “new capitalism”. However, what he mentioned as a key to his economic management was ex-PM Abe’s “three arrows” (monetary relaxation, increased government spending, and a growth strategy oriented toward supporting large corporations). Kishida clearly showed his willingness to follow and promote the “Abenomics” policy which resulted in an increase in poverty and social inequalities.

As for foreign and security policies, Kishida expressed his intent to revise the National Security Strategy which was approved in 2013 and the current National Defense Guidelines, suggesting the promotion of a huge military buildup. He declared the bulldozing through of the Henoko base project in Okinawa in disregard of Okinawans’ opposition. He turned his back on signing and ratifying the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons while stating that as the prime minister of the A-bombed city of Hiroshima, he seeks to realize a world without nuclear weapons.

In an Asahi Shimbun opinion survey that was conducted after the inauguration of the Kishida administration, 55% of respondents said that they prefer “not continuing” the Abe/Suga policy line. In a Kyodo news survey, 69.7% said the Abe/Suga policies “should be changed”.

Now, it is more important for opposition parties and concerned citizens to team up to realize a change of government in the forthcoming general election and establish a government that actually listens to the demands of the general public.
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