Insights | Nagatacho Update

Ordinary Diet Session Starts Today - PM Abe Calls for Understanding for Upcoming Tax Hike

The 198th ordinary Diet session was convened today.  Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gave a policy speech at the opening of the session, seeking understanding for his plan to raise the consumption tax from 8 percent to 10 percent in October. He also expressed his intention of amending the Constitution, settling the territorial dispute with Russia and signing a peace treaty, and strengthening the nation's cyber and space defense programs.

Extraordinary Diet session closed, ordinary Diet session expected to convene at the end of January

The extraordinary Diet session was ended yesterday as scheduled although the extension of the session was once considered as the opposition parties fiercely protected to deliberate a bill to accept more foreign workers into Japan as well as to revise the Water Supply Act to allow private companies to run municipal water services. The ordinary Diet session is said to be convened on the week of 28 January.  Prime Minister Abe's comments at the close of the session are available from NHK World sit

PM Abe's Renewed Cabinet Members Announced

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe launched his new cabinet on 2 October. He retained key veteran ministers to keep the basic framework of his administration intact while appointing 12 first-timers, the highest figure for any of the cabinets he formed. With his refreshed cabinet, Abe aims to tackle challenges facing Japan and complete Abenomics. For the complete list of the cabinet, please refer to  the Japan Times. 

Japan-EU EPA Signed

Japan and the European Union signed the economic partnership agreement (EPA) in Tokyo on Tuesday, 17 July.  The EPA, which will remove tariffs on most of each other's goods in phases, is expected to be put into effect by the end of March, 2019. Comments by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker are available from the Japan News article.

Draft of Basic Economic Fiscal Policies Submitted

The government unveiled a draft of basic economic fiscal policies at a meeting of an advisory council yesterday.  The draft includes the pushback of the target year to balance the budget from fiscal 2020 to 2025, relaxation of visas to allow foreign workers with a certain level of skill, free higher education for mainly low-income households, continuous efforts on work-style reform initiatives. The plan is expected to be approved by the Cabinet by middle of this month.

House of Representatives Passes TPP11

The House of Representatives today passed a bill to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact without the US, so called TPP11 or CP TPP (the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership).  Since a ratification bill is automatically enacted 30 days after it has been sent to the House of Councillors in Japan, today's approval by the House of Representatives ensured the enactment by the end of the current ordinary Diet session, which is scheduled on 20 June.

PM Abe Pledges to Tackle on Pre-school Education and Invest in HR Development

Prime Minister Abe delivered his first policy speech for the Special Diet Session today.  He pledged to accelerate discussions on the government's initiatives such as the security issues including the North Korea crisis, policy on "people development" and free early childhood education as the countermeasure for the aging society and the on-going international trade negotiations. For more details, please visit the article on NHK World.

Abe's 4th Cabinet to be Inaugurated Tonight

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was reelected  today by both the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors.  It is reported that Prime Minister will retain all the ministers he appointed at the previous cabinet reshuffle in August.  He will be officially appointed tonight and inaugurate his fourth cabinet.

GR Japan Presentation - 2017 General Election Analysis and Predictions

Jakob Edberg, GR Japan President & CEO, presented our analysis and predictions on the upcoming lower house election at "IPF: 2017 General Election Special" on 17 October. His presentation is available as attached.  Should you like to know further details, please feel free to contact info [at] grjapan [dot] com.

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