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.
Please be kindly informed that GR Japan office will be closed for the New Year holiday, from 29 December, 2018 until 6 January, 2019. We will be back to work starting 7 January, 2019. We wish you all happy holidays!
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
GR Japan President & CEO Jakob Edberg spoke for the Kansai Chapter of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ) on 10 October. Edberg talked about the update of the Japanese political scenes and shared his insights on recent developments in the efforts of the regions’ business communities in this area, including how companies’ strategic engagement and communications activities with local governments has contributed to growth.
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 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.
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.