Japan Pay Hikes Higher Priority Than Capital Gains Tax, PM Says
(Bloomberg) -- Tax breaks for companies that raise salaries are a higher priority than a review of the capital gains tax, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told parliament, as he faced questions over his plans to narrow disparities in society.
His remarks Monday came less than three weeks before an Oct. 31 election that will be key to his prospects of avoiding the “revolving door” of short-serving Japanese premiers who have been dispatched after about a year in office.
Kishida told lawmakers he would decide on his economic policies soon after the vote and submit a bill for an extra budget. A proposed review of capital gains tax looks set to be put on the back burner after a negative reaction from the markets and some high-profile business people.
Opinion polls have shown relatively weak backing for Kishida, who took office a week ago.
While none of the opposition parties have support of more than single figures, they are working together in many constituencies to reduce the number of seats held by Kishida’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its partner Komeito. The ruling coalition is likely to retain its parliamentary majority, but any serious setbacks could stir talk of replacing Kishida.
Kishida has promised tens of trillions of yen in stimulus to help the economy recover from the damage caused by the pandemic. Both growth and distribution are fundamental parts of his policy, he said.
Japan’s Kishida to Decide on Economic Policies After Election
The one-time foreign minister gave credit to his former boss, Shinzo Abe, saying his policies had contributed greatly to strengthening the economy. Kishida’s government will continue to seek to defeat deflation through a strategy of monetary easing, fiscal policy and economic growth, he added.
Kishida also made the following remarks:
- Taiwan is an extremely important partner with which Japan will seek to deepen ties; Japan will continue to pay close attention to the situation around Taiwan
- All options including nuclear power must be made use of to achieve carbon goals; nuclear power plants that meet standards should be re-started with the understanding of local people
- Extreme caution needed in considering same-sex marriage, while further debate is necessary on whether to allow married couples to keep separate names
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