Home > Latest News

Cabinet decides reform, growth policies

Japan's Cabinet has decided on basic guidelines for economic and fiscal reform and a growth strategy for the country.

The approval came at an extraordinary Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

The guidelines say that under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's policies Japan's economy is starting to move in a positive cycle and the effects of the growth strategy are beginning to spread to smaller businesses and local economies.

The guidelines say measures are necessary to ensure that this spreads to all corners of the country so that a mid-to-long-term outlook becomes visible for local economies.
The reform policies include a plan to lower the corporate tax rate from about 35 percent to below 30 percent over a period of several years from the fiscal year that begins next April after securing a permanent source of revenue. This is aimed at attracting foreign investors and heightening competitiveness among Japanese companies.

With regard to the financial debt, the policies aim to achieve a primary balance surplus, which indicates the health of the fiscal situation, by fiscal 2020.

Discussions on specific measures are to be clarified at an early stage, in order to draw up the fiscal 2015 budget bill.

Measures to address concerns of a shrinking economy due to Japan's declining population are included. One goal is to maintain a stable population of about 100-million in 50 years.

Budgetary allocations are to emphasize support for giving birth and raising three or more children.

The growth strategy includes the introduction of a performance-based salary system for workers who have professional skills and earn at least 10-million yen, or nearly 100,000 dollars, a year. This is aimed at improving productivity. Legal adjustments are to be made by around next year's ordinary session of the Diet.

The investment portfolio of a public pension fund worth more than 120-trillion yen, or some 1.2 trillion dollars, is to be reviewed as soon as possible to put more money into stocks.

A plan in the medical services field says patients should be allowed to combine treatments that are covered by public insurance with those that are not covered.

In farming, a proposal has been made to create a new system so that local agricultural cooperatives can engage in creative and original management.

This would be a transfer from the current system in which the Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives offers management instructions to local cooperatives.

Foreign workers in a technical internship program are to be allowed to extend their stay to about 5 years from the current up to 3 years.

The government plans to compile the fiscal 2015 budget based on the reform policies and draw up policies and systems to implement the new growth strategy.

Jun. 24, 2014 - Updated 09:04 UTC