Latest Articles and Insights

LDP to Proceed with Diet Reform this month

The Nikkei Shimbun reports that the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) will proceed with Diet reform plans this month. The objective of the reform is to lighten the burden of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet through measures such as increasing the time Vice-Ministers answer questions at the Diet, and to establish a cap on the deliberation time of Diet committees. 

Cabinet Office Announces Revised GDP

Cabinet Office Announces Revised GDP

According to data released by the Cabinet Office today, Japan’s gross domestic product (GDP) during the April-June period was on a quarter-to-quarter basis revised up to a 0.9 percent increase from a preliminary 0.6 percent. This amounts to an annualized 3.8 percent expansion from a preliminary 2.6 percent increase. 

Yoshide Suga

Continuity for a change?

At a press conference yesterday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga revealed that no reshuffle of ministers posts will take place in a while and that Prime Minister Abe wants to keep his team "as is" at least until the end of the next ordinary Diet session, scheduled to end in Mid-June 2014.  

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)

Liberalization of Gas Supply Expected in 2016

The Yomiuri Shimbun reports that the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) plans to move forward with liberating the gas market for households in 2016. In doing so, the ministry is hoping that the increased competition in the market will lead to decreased prices and enhanced services.

Special Advisory Panel Backs Consumption Tax Hike

Special Advisory Panel Backs Consumption Tax Hike

According to the Nikkei Shimbun, more than 70% of the members of a special advisory panel believe that the consumption tax should be increased as planned. Eight people sought a change in the gain increase citing the possible adverse effects on efforts to tackle deflation, and six people proposed an extension or opposed a tax hike entirely. 

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi

Former Prime Minster Koizumi Renounces Nuclear Power

In an interview with the Mainichi Shimbun, former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi made clear his anti-nuclear energy stance. He commented that Japan has “no choice but to get rid of nuclear power” and that the move towards zero nuclear power should happen now otherwise “eliminating nuclear power will become more difficult in the future.”

Akira Amari, the Minister for Economic Revitalization

Amari: Consumption Tax Decision to Come Before APEC Summit

In an interview with NHK regarding the possible consumption tax increase, Akira Amari, the Minister for Economic Revitalization, stated that he believes “it [the decision] will come before the APEC summit meeting at the latest.” The APEC summit is scheduled to begin on October 7.

Shinzo Abe

Abe battles doctors' lobby over 'Third Arrow' reform

Reuters summarizes well the discussion on liberalization of mix treatment under the National Health Insurance scheme.  On one side of the argument is the 165,000-member JMA and health ministry officials, who say they want to protect the cherished principle of universality in a system that has been the envy of much of the developed world.